Category Archives: aprons

This year’s homemade Christmas gifts

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aprons

We did some early Christmas unwrapping today, allowing the kids to paw through the little items that were from their parents, as opposed to the more mysterious gifts that will come from St. Nick tomorrow. I made the kids these canvas art smocks/aprons to wear during their own crafty pursuits. Dorothy had a tiny little painting smock when she was a toddler but it long ago lost its straps and fell by the wayside. My method of keeping the kids clean during art projects has been to send them upstairs to change into old t-shirts when I think about it, but that’s rather inconvenient when one has been hit by inspiration. These sturdy canvas smocks should allow them to act on their inspirations without the burden of climbing two flights of stairs and locating an acceptable shirt. I used fabric paint and freezer paper stencils to paint their initials onto each apron.

painters-at-workOf course unwrapping the smocks caused inspiration to hit immediately, so we had to pull out paints and brushes and canvas boards to try them out.

cufflinksI made these “favorite newspaper” cufflinks for Rob. He likes novelty cufflinks to lighten up his stuffy lawyer garb and we’ve had fun in the past gluing Legos and bottle caps onto cufflink hardware. This year I used a 1-inch round craft punch and epoxy dots to make cufflinks from his own used newspapers. I punched clear plastic (like from the packaging of new toys) for the backing.

cold-process-soapAnd this is a brand new batch of cold-process (lye) soap. I make unscented “man” soap for my brother whenever he starts to run low. He likes a soap without weird chemicals or fragrances and I like the opportunity to make something handmade for a brother who doesn’t need much. This soap will come out of my extremely expensive and fancy (ha!) dishpan mold later today and I’ll cut it into slabs before I give it to him tomorrow. It will still need to cure for 4-6 weeks, but if I give it to him straight from the mold then he will be able to cut it into just the right size bars himself.

Sorghum cookies

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This picture is blurry, but it’s hard to shoot a moving target.  Dorothy is displaying the apron I found at a thrift store recently.  Guess where it’s destined?  This lovely turn in the weather has inspired me to make camping reservations for us at some state parks we want to check out this spring.  I’m so looking forward to our first 2011 trip!

Today in the kitchen I experimented with a local ingredient I’m not very familiar with.  I had picked up a recipe for sorghum cookies at the state fair last summer and had yet to try it.  I altered the recipe to suit our diets and our taste, and they were really quite tasty.  As Rob said, “I still don’t really understand what sorghum is, but it makes very good cookies.”  Exactly.

Here’s the recipe in case you decide to Bake Kentucky Proud as well (or something):
1 cup plus 2 TB sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/3 cup sorghum
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 and line three cookie sheets with parchment.  Whisk together flours, soda, and salt in a bowl or large measuring cup, set aside.  Cream butter, oil and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg, vanilla and sorghum.  Beat well.  Add flour mixture in two parts, beating well after each addition.  Stir in oats, chips and coconut.  Drop onto prepared cookie sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool three minutes on the sheet, then transfer to wire rack.