Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mostly Homemade Holiday - Part 1

So back here I mentioned some projects I was working on to make it a mostly homemade holiday. So i thought it was time to update you on how we did and give you some ideas and inspiration!

First up, Thanksgiving. I found some cute brown corduroy in a scrap bin at the fabric store. I figured there was just enough for a cute jumper for my Peanut. And it would have been if a) she didn't decide to grow up, and b) I had a good pattern. I got a free pattern off Burda Style, put up by a member. While the instructions were very simple, straight forward and clear. The pattern itself was a little lacking, the back and front didn't match up at all, they were different sizes and not cute to the same angle. I was able to fix it, but I lost some fabric in the process. So here is the finished product:
I had always planned on the pink turtle neck, the leggings were a result of the growth spurt. Although she did wear it with tights, I thought it was too short, dad didn't...I love how the partridge came out. I fell in love with the pink paisley fabric and it was the end of a bolt...I wish I had bought the hole thing! Many thanks to Natasha for all her help trying to answer my frantic e-mails after her applique tutorial! (Please go visit her, she is so creative and her daughter is adorable!). I couldn't get my Winder under to work, it was melting everywhere and ruining my iron, I never thought I would get the applique done...turns out mine was defective and missing the paper backing. Parchment paper (and internet message boards tot he rescue!)

Next up, a hostess gift. I like bringing a little homemade treat that my husbands Aunt can serve her family and enjoy the next morning before they all head to the airport and back to their own homes. This year, I had bananas on hand so we made Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread.
Sorry, I only took a wrapped picture (oops!) It was a HUGE hit, it's a modified recipe from Cooking Light Magazine (affiliated link) It's funny, it's actually a LOT easier to find out how to lighten a recipe than to figure how to make it normal again, like how to use eggs instead of substitute! I included the "lighter" version in parentheses, in case your so inclined!

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 butter softened
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt (plain low-fat yogurt)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt stirring with a whisk.
  3. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add banana, egg, and yogurt, beat until blended. Add flour mixture, beat at low speed until moist (don't over mix)
  4. Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Add 1 cup batter to the chocolate, stirring until well combined.
  5. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together using a knife
  6. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack, remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack
The kids loved it, my family loved it, my husband...well he thought it would have been better with some blueberries mixed in. We may try that next time, but I was just about out of my stash of blueberries that I froze over the summer.

Next I was inspired by Alexis from My Mama Made It to make the kids some Christmas Pajamas. I wanted them done in time for St. Nicholas day which was this weekend. I found some super soft flannel and got long sleeve t-shirts for $3 from Wal-Mart. the kids love them! Monkey helped design his shirt and had a ton of fun doing it, the iceberg on the bottom was his idea and made with some white felt I had leftover from making our Christmas Stockings. Here they are:

Again, without Natasha I never would have gotten the shirts done! I used Simplicity Pattern 2734. It's from there It's So Easy collection, and it was! I was so worried about pattern sewing again after all the trouble I had with the Halloween costume. But this was easy, simple and fast! If I was allowed to work without interruption I would say I could finish the pants in maybe 1.5 hours. I used the same fabric for both and used some large iron on rick rack that I had bought for another project to trim my daughters. I love how it looks like icing on a gingerbread house. Sorry on the quality of the close ups, my camera is busted and I am using an old one....I'm hoping Santa brings me a new one!

Finally, stocking stuffers made of stockings! This project took me literally 5 minutes, I did while waiting for dinner to cook. it was awesome. I took a pair of my husbands old rag socks that he wouldn't throw out because "they were warm, and expensive" but the heel was totally worn threw! I used Natasha's tutorial here and made them into leg-warmers!

She loves them and they will come in very handy at gymnastics where she insists on wearing her leotard without pants and is not allowed to wear socks. Now she can stay warm and look cute! I have 3more pairs of his socks that I have been hiding from him I am also going to get some holiday knee highs from Target to make some that will match her holiday dresses! It's such an easy project it's addictive. Oh and the silver "garbage" at the bottom of the picture, my floor is not that dirty, she was dropping the wrapper to her bribe (Heresy's kiss), it was the only way I could tear her away from her coloring long enough to get her to sit with them on for a picture!

My husbands response when we showed him? "So you can make them into something different for Peanut but you can't darn them for me?!"

Darn? Who darns socks anymore?

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