Tag Archives: Christmas cookies

Crafty kids

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quilt

There are lots of things I’m not sure about when it comes to parenting. I really struggle with my kids and food, for example. All my fine ideas about how they were going to love vegetables haven’t really panned out. But one thing I feel pretty confident about is the way they both (I’m excluding Daphne here, who can hardly be expected to show creativity or initiative at 10 weeks) can envision a project and tackle it head-on, with whatever materials they find. I think I’m doing a halfway decent job of giving them confidence in the “homemade” department. At least that’s something, right? So at least if they ever lose their teeth to poor nutrition and go to jail for bad behavior they can sit in there and knit a cozy for their meal tray. Or something.

Dorothy has really been into sewing lately. She sews lots and lots (and lots) of little pouches for things and gets really upset if we don’t use them for all the things they are meant to hold. Although I’ve taught her about sewing on the wrong side of the fabric she prefers her own free-form methods, which I think is fine. Just recently she’s progressed from pouch-making to quilting, and has made coverlets for her doll, a doll of her brother’s, and now one for baby sister. I thought it was an adorably sweet project, and I loved seeing the big sister cozy the tiny sister up in it. It did get slightly less charming when the big sister basically followed me around doggedly for the next whole day, placing and replacing the little quilt over the baby just in case I “forgot” to cover her up in it just for a trip to check the mailbox or something. But I understand; it’s the same reason I don’t like to sew Halloween costumes–you want your sewing projects to get used.
bracelets

Dorothy has also been really into making rubber band bracelets. I realize this is no different from almost every other 2nd grade girl in middle America at the moment, but it is possible that being a homeschooler and having more free time has given her the opportunity to be a little more prolific than most–she’s about to suffocate every bare surface in the house with these little rubber chains, made in two styles and a variety of colors. She and her friends trade them and make them for each other. It’s funny how every few years sees a new trend of childhood “currency,” and I think it’s nice that this particular trend involves the kids making something with their own hands to swap and gift. cookies2

Yesterday we made iced sugar cookies to share with the kids’ grandparents after their church Christmas pageant this weekend. I cut out only snowmen to keep things simple, then set each child up with their own jar of icing, a small stack of cookies, little bowls of candies to share for the decorating, and a big fat lecture on hand washing and not licking.cookies3

Worth was not old enough to remember the last time we decorated cookies together and took the job very seriously.cookies4Of course the most enjoyable part of the project was the tasting at the end. Dorothy ate her “weird” snowman, I ate my piped icing mistake (oops! a uni-brow!), and Worth ate his snowman with the most candies and icing crammed on top. As is our custom when I have frosting in tubes, we wrapped up by me piping a “finger rose” on the tips of all their fingers, for them to lick off before going for one more good hand-wash.

first-christmasThere is nothing homemade in this photo except my beautiful baby herself, and her fine chubby cheeks. Breast-feeding can give such a sense of accomplishment when you see your child fill out and grow! Like I’m not sure how I did it, but I did it! Is it crafty? Nope, but still homemade. 🙂 She’s ten weeks old now and is doing great. She’s not a particularly easy or laid-back baby (of course I’m comparing her to Worth, who was just about the most pleasant and obliging infant I’ve ever encountered) but we don’t really mind trying to keep up with her exacting standards. She should have what she wants, this precious (final) baby #3!

Cookies, a sweater…oh dear, I’m disorganized!

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bow

It’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged. I’m sort of getting out of the habit of remembering to photograph projects when I finish them. I don’t think I’m ready to quit this blog thing yet because I enjoy keeping this little record for myself, but I do need to put a note or something on my crafty table so I don’t completely get out of the habit. In any case, here’s a little bit of what”s been going on at my house this past month. Dorothy and I made hair bows. I made a few for her (including this one I glued to a headband) and she made some for her cousins. We used a Bowdabra, which is simple and gives good results. It makes puffy bows–not the tidy little twisted kind you can make with templates. sugar-cookies

I’ve used the season as an excuse to try a bunch of gluten-free cookie recipes I’d been wondering about. I’m not gluten-free but my mother is, so I’ve been enjoying experimenting with gluten-free baking on her behalf. These sugar cookies were from Carol Fenster’s 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes and they were terrific. I don’t think anyone would have noticed they were gluten-free if I hadn’t said something. I rolled them out between sheets of plastic wrap as suggested, but I found the dough just as easy to work with as regular cookie dough.

jam-cookies

These gluten-free jam cookies were from The Wheat-Free Cook by Jacqueline Mallorca. I don’t care for this book overall as well as the one above, but these cookies were tasty. They were really great just-baked and were nice but crumbly once they had been sandwiched with the jam. The drawback to them came the next day, when they’d apparently soaked up all the moisture from the jam and almost fell apart when I touched them, so they really want to be eaten only on the day they are made. Still, they are tasty and light with a nice flavor and don’t scream “gluten free alternative!” when you taste them.

new-sweater

I finished knitting (knooking) myself this sweater a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the freakishly warm weather has prevented me from wearing it much. I ran into the difficulty once again of trying to get a decent photo of a project made for myself but this one will have to do. I’d like to show the neckline, which I particularly like, but I didn’t think to take off my scarf for the photo when I came in today from shopping. I used this Oatmeal Pullover pattern and the Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn the pattern suggests, but in the color Eggplant. I like the sweater and it didn’t take that long to knook since the yarn is so chunky, but if this warm-weather trend continues I may never get to wear it since it is such a bulky, warm garment. I made the pattern in size medium, but since the knitter controls the length and the sleeve length I think I could have gone down a size and cut down on some of the bulk.

bookmarks

Finally, this is what my kids made their instructors/nursery care providers/extracurricular teachers as holiday gifts this year. Last year we did jars of homemade granola and I was going to do that again, but when my kids got snotty and sick it felt like homemade gifts from my kitchen stirred by their germy little hands might not be the most appropriate displays of our affection. Instead I cut strips of cardstock and cut the recipients’ names out with paper punches, then let the kids paint their own designs on the strips. Each kid needed to make about five. After they were dry we wrote the children’s names on the back and laminated them to make sturdy personalized bookmarks.

Hope you have a very merry, crafty Christmas!