Sunday, December 12, 2010

Giveaway Winners! And Cranberry Sauce

Oh, wow, has it been a busy week! Sorry that I'm back here with the results a little later than planned. But, without further delay, here are the winners:

The Random Integer Generator gave me 4, 3, and 1, which means that Rachel wins the ornaments, Andrea wins the wrapping paper, and Kristina wins the cards. Ladies, email me your addresses and I will get those off in the mail to you!

Thanks to everyone who entered. I'm sorry that I don't have something to send to all of you, but I'd love to share a little something with you as a treat if you didn't win (or even if you did!).

I love cranberries, and this is the time of year where I cook with them a lot. Cranberry sauce and cranberry pies are my favorite!

I always make this cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, and sometime for Christmas, too. It's very simple and fast. This is my mom's cranberry sauce recipe:

Cranberry Sauce

* 3 cups of cranberries
* 1 cup of sugar
* coarsely grated rind of one orange
* 3/4 cup orange juice

Put all the ingredients in a medium pot and cook on high heat, stirring regularly, until all the berries pop (about 10 minutes). This will thicken as it cools. That's it! (I told you it was fast).
The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. I usually triple it. :) I also like to use fresh squeezed orange juice with it, though it tastes good either way.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy December (and a Giveaway!)

Today is the first of December, and that means:

I put up the advent calendar (handmade and bought years ago by my parents - this is the one I grew up with)...

Put out the Christmas books...

And chose a tree!

(I knit that hat myself! More about that soon).

Twinkly lights at the tree place.

The lights are on the tree now, and so is the angel, but the rest of the ornaments will have to wait till the weekend.

But now, on to the giveaway! I have three, that's right, three different prizes you can win. And three ways for you to enter - read on.

One prize is a set of three ornaments made by me (inspired by ornaments in the December 2008 Martha Stewart Living).

The set includes:

a wreath,

a candy cane,

and a snowflake.

Remember the handmade wrapping paper I posted about here? Well, I am also giving away two yards of hand stamped wrapping paper, in two different patterns:

one yard of candy canes,

and one yard of trees.

And finally, I am giving away a set of ten hand stamped cards (similar to the ones in this giveaway):

with ten matching envelopes.

The set of cards will come tied up with a pretty ribbon. The cards feature red, poinsettia-esque flowers with a little glitter in the center. The winner will have a choice of what else is stamped on the cards. If you win, you may choose to use them as thank you cards:

Or Christmas cards, with a stamp on the outside that says 'Merry! Merry!':

Or a stamp on the inside that says 'Merry Christmas':

The words are shown stamped in red, but can be stamped in green if you prefer. The cards can also be left blank.

So here are the three different ways you can enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me something you've made for Christmas, or something handmade that you hope to get for Christmas (links to your blog or elsewhere on the internet are more than welcome!).

2. Follow me, and then let me know that you did by leaving a second comment. (If you already follow me, let me know that with a second comment!).

3. And finally, link to my giveaway on your blog, and then leave me a comment letting me know you've done so.

Three prizes. Three ways to enter. Your chances of winning are great!

Happy December to you all.

Edited to add: I will leave comments open for a week, and draw the winners on Wednesday, December 8th.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crafty Tattoo

So exactly three weeks ago today, I got... first tattoo!

It took me awhile (umm...about a decade) to decide on both which part of my body and which image I wanted. And I finally came up with the one that is just perfect for me.


I got my tattoo at Beloved Studios, and if you are near the Twin Cities at all, I highly recommend it. I couldn't have had a better experience, and my tattoo artist was incredible. She was patient, accommodating, and she put me at ease right away.

I came in with my design drawn up and in the size I wanted, and she helped me tweak it a little to make it turn out well as a tattoo.


I knew I wanted an image that would always mean something to me, so I chose Minnesota...'embroidered' on me! It was a way to combine a love for my state with a love for all things crafty.

After (red and bandaged!)


I love this tattoo! It makes me so, so happy every time I look at it.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful that I get to spend today with good friends and family. And for a four-day weekend!

Read about how I made my turkey pin right here.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, if you're celebrating!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dresser Makeover

This is not a recent project; I've been meaning to share it with you for a long time. I began this project over two years ago, in fact. It all started when I saw this dresser put out for free on the side of the road:

My eyes were initially drawn to it by the bright blue color. On closer inspection, it was spray painted on cheap wood, and chipping badly. But I had recently seen a tutorial I wanted to try, I was in need of a dresser, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

[A note on the tutorial - I'm sure I bookmarked it, but I can't find it anywhere. When I googled it to see if I could find the one I used, so many tutorials came up. If I manage to find the one that inspired this project, I'll edit this post. Otherwise, just google 'furniture mod podge tutorial' (or something along those lines) and you'll see lots of different ways this has been used. And I mean lots.]

The first thing that I did was prime everything with Kilz, inside and out. Then the dresser got coats of white paint. I got that far, and then summer ended and teaching began, and everything sat in my garage for a year.

The next summer, I pulled everything out again and finished the coats of paint on the drawers. [Don't ask me why I waited that long - I could have easily finished this in one weekend. But you know how it goes...I guess we all have WIPs going, this was just an especially large one to store!]

To decorate the drawers, I set each one on the fabric I had chosen, and traced it.

Then I cut the fabric out. I put mod podge on the drawers, set the fabric on, and then mod podged (yes, it's a verb) over the top of the fabric.

Here's a close-up shot of the fabric I used:

Once the mod podge had dried, I used a drill to add drawer pulls (from Target):

And Ta-Dah!!!

A brand new, beautiful dresser for my closet. I've been using it for over a year now, and I still love, love, love it!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Yesterday morning I woke up to this sight outside my window:

The first snow of the season!

It was absolutely beautiful. I had a very good friend in town visiting for the weekend, and the snow made our Saturday plans rather exciting!

Love the one lone fall leaf left on the tree...

Last weekend, I made Italian Sausage Soup, courtesy of Alicia over at Posie Gets Cozy.

As soon as I read the recipe, I knew I had to make it!

The snow this weekend makes me want to cook up another batch already. It was so good! I see this being made many more times this winter.

Even more cozy goodness from Alicia:

My Walk in the Woods ornament kit arrived in the mail! I've noticed a lot of you have also gotten your own ornament kit, and I've even seen some finished ornaments out there already. I have to say, I'm impressed! With all the presents for other people that I need to work on, I'm thinking my ornaments will have to wait until after Christmas...

This kit is just one of many things that have been arriving in the mail recently. I can't wait to show you more! Most are things that I've ordered, but a few are things that I've won (!!).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More Canning!

In early October, my friend M and I got together to do some more canning (she and I made the salsa together, too).

This time, we made dilly beans! Again, we got our canning recipe from this book. We ended up with 10 pints. I haven't opened one up yet, so I don't know how they turned out, but if they're anything like the other recipes from this book they're going to be delicious!

Then last weekend, my friend A and I got together to make raspberry jam. We made it together last year, as well. We both have raspberry bushes in our yards, so we pick over the summer and freeze a bunch of the raspberries.

Then we can make our jam in one big batch, instead of a bunch of small ones during the summer.

We ended up with 46 half-pints! Yum!

Last year, I decorated most of my jars of jam to give as gifts:

A and I will be getting together again soon to package our jam up for this year!