Afternoon Live–Cocoa Mix

I'm popping in today with a link to my appearance on Afternoon Live, a talk show here in Portland.  It was first delayed by Bernie Sanders, then preempted because of snow, but it finally aired yesterday.  I felt like my usual awkward self while it was being filmed, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.  They've asked me back to do a Valentine craft! You can see the video here:  http://katu.com/afternoon-live/cooking-recipes/holiday-cocoa-mixes

If you're eyeing those tags on the jars or you caught a glimpse of the recipe cards that were laying on the table, they're yours to download and print!

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix
Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix

Friday Favorites–Quick Gifts to Make

Thanks to holiday orders in my Etsy shop, I never seem to have time for personal sewing this time of year until this last week before Christmas arrives.  By then it's too late to order online, so I get a short break before the people who've received Etsy gift cards start shopping.  If someone is receiving something handmade from me, I'm probably working on it right now, so quick, easy projects are a must. Now I've just got to figure out if I can make every, single one of these this week!

Who doesn't love the gift of a cute photo?  Make it even more appealing with this Bias Tape Magnetic Photo Frames from Sew Much Ado.  These are also a great way to use up some fabric scraps.

Bias Tape Magnetic Photo Frames from Sew Much Ado
Bias Tape Magnetic Photo Frames from Sew Much Ado

I don't know if I've ever sewn anything in under an hour, but this One Hour Floor Cushion from Ohoh Blog does look pretty simple, and so fun!

One Hour Floor Cushion from Ohoh Blog
One Hour Floor Cushion from Ohoh Blog

Although I'm a big fan of the cinnamon variety, I love that you could make these DIY Altoids from One Broads Journey in just about any flavor.

DIY Altoids from One Broads Journey
DIY Altoids from One Broads Journey

This Scented Wood Air Freshener from Northstory is a great gift because you don't have to worry about whether it will match the recipient's décor, and the scent options are endless.

Scented Wood Air Freshener from North Story
Scented Wood Air Freshener from North Story

I try to keep it to one a day, but those empty k-cups still stack up.  These K-Cup Bath Bombs from The Good Stuff are a great way to give them a second life, while ending up with a pretty, thoughtful gift.

K-Cup Bath Bombs from The Good Stuff
K-Cup Bath Bombs from The Good Stuff

I always keep a container of raw sugar with vanilla beans in the pantry, but this Flavored Sugar from A Spicy Perspective reminds me that there are other flavor options, and that they'd make a great gift!

Flavored Sugar from A Spicy Perspective
Flavored Sugar from A Spicy Perspective

These Leather Luggage Tags from Almost Makes Perfect are perfect for those travelers on your list.

Leather Luggage Tags from Almost Makes Perfect
Leather Luggage Tags from Almost Makes Perfect

I didn't realize what an issue storing earbuds was until airplanes started offering t.v. and movies to watch during the flight.  Now I feel like I'm wrestling with them on every trip.  This Earphone Holder from Make It and Love It is just about a necessity.

Earphone Holder from a Mint Container from Make It and Love It
Earphone Holder from a Mint Container from Make It and Love It

How sweet is this Blizzard Bonnet from Petit a Petit and Family?  And you still have time to make it!

Blizzard Bonnet from Petit a Petit and Family
Blizzard Bonnet from Petit a Petit and Family

Maybe it's the snow outside my window talking, but I don't think you can go wrong with these Snowman Handwarmers from Simple Simon and Co.

Snowman Hand Warmers from Simple Simon and Co
Snowman Hand Warmers from Simple Simon and Co

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!

Giftable Cocoa Mixes and Printable Tags

My original intention was to come here last week and tell you all about my very first television appearance.  Well, things didn't go exactly as planned.  I arrived at the station, where I met the producer and was directed backstage to set up my display and work area.  I was scheduled near the end of the show, so there was some waiting, but eventually my table and I were taken out onto the set.  I sat in the audience for a couple of segments, then they put on my mic.  They teased my cocoa mix right before the commercial break. I stepped forward to head to my display when none other than Bernie Sanders popped out of a side door and walked right in front of me.  Yes, that Bernie Sanders.  He was so close I nearly ran right into him.  Politics aside, it was a little surreal. Apparently he just wrote a book, and had stopped by unexpectedly for an interview.  After he passed by, I walked over and stood where I was supposed to. After a few minutes it was pretty clear he had a lot to say and it wasn't happening for me that day, which was confirmed by the stage manager.  Mr. Sanders did his thing, posed for some photos, then walked past me and my cocoa mix and left.

Everyone couldn't have been nicer about it.  We talked about when I might be able to come back, but just as I was about to pack up they decided to film the segment and air it another day. I think it had something to do with the effort I put into making my display festive, and I'm sure there's a lesson there somewhere.

On the set of Afternoon Live
On the set of Afternoon Live

I don’t know when it will end up airing, but I didn’t want to let the holiday season go by without sharing the recipe with you. I also bought some cute holiday clipart, and got the okay from the artist to offer the tags and recipes cards for you to print!

This is the basic recipe:

Basic Cocoa Mix

1 cup dry powdered milk

3/4 cup powdered creamer

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Combine the ingredients.

For Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix add to the basic mix:

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 cup crushed caramel hard candies (I like Werther's)

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix
Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix

For Peppermint Cocoa Mix add to the basic mix:

1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy canes or peppermint disks

Peppermint Cocoa Mix
Peppermint Cocoa Mix

For Cinnamon Cocoa Mix add to the basic mix:

1/4 cup cinnamon imperials (red hots)

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix
Cinnamon Cocoa Mix

As you can see, I tried to get a little creative with the packaging.  If you decide to make filled ornaments like these, I'd recommend going with plastic over glass.  No one wants to find a chip in their cocoa!  I put one serving of cocoa mix in each one, then finished filling it with layers of chocolate chips, mini marshmallows (my affiliate link to find those on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2hunf3E, since I can't find them in a store close to me any more) and more of the candy used to flavor the mix.  If you intend to hang them, pull the top off and bend a little upward hook on each end of the wire to keep them from slipping out of the ornament.  If you'd like to stand them, my husband had the smart idea of gluing a button on the bottom to keep it from rolling.

I like the idea of giving these as individual or couple servings, so I found some small containers for that.  Some of these are from the craft store, others from the dollar section at Target.

Individual and Couple Servings of Cocoa Mix
Individual and Couple Servings of Cocoa Mix

I also made some with a tiny bottle of liquor attached.  There were three of these, but the one with the peppermint schnapps disappeared the moment I got home.  Mama needed a minute after the whole Bernie Sanders thing.

Cocoa Mix with Liquor Bottles
Cocoa Mix with Liquor Bottles

Have you noticed the tags?  I bought some clip art from the talented Little Sisters Studio on Creative Market to make these, and I'm so in love.

Milk Bottle with Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix
Milk Bottle with Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix

With the artist's permission, here are the tags for you to print!  Each one has a second page of red and black buffalo check in case you'd like to print it two sided and use that for the back like I did.

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix Tags

Peppermint Cocoa Mix Tags

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix Tags

And if you're feeling generous enough to share the recipe, here's recipe cards too!

Salted Caramel Cocoa Mix Recipe Cards

Peppermint Cocoa Mix Recipe Cards

Cinnamon Cocoa Mix Recipe Cards

These mixes are great for last minute gifts, and it doesn't hurt to have some around for those drop-in guests or holiday parties either.  If they don't run out the door as soon as they're done talking about their book.

Friday Favorites–Gifts to Make for Kids

I had such a hard time narrowing this down to ten handmade gift ideas for the little ones.  Now if I could just find an excuse to make a few of these!

Friday Favorites - Gifts to Make for Kids
Friday Favorites - Gifts to Make for Kids

You can make a gift for even the littlest on your list with this Wood Ring Baby Teether from Skip to my Lou.

Wood Ring Baby Teether Toy from Skip to my Lou
Wood Ring Baby Teether Toy from Skip to my Lou

Obviously you'll want to take into account whether your recipient has an appropriate place to play with these indoor Fabric Frisbees from Make and Takes.  Mine would have been bouncing off the basement walls with them.

Fabric Frisbee from Make and Takes
Fabric Frisbee from Make and Takes

This Pocket Picture Book from Fabric Mutt is only limited by the interesting fabric you can find, and we all know that's not even an issue.

Pocket Picture Book from Fabric Mutt
Pocket Picture Book from Fabric Mutt

Get your pint-sized artist started making their own book with these Printable Comic Book Templates from Kids Activities Blog.

Printable Comic Book Templates from Kids Activites Blog
Printable Comic Book Templates from Kids Activites Blog

This is a kid-friendly gift for sure, but I don't think I'm too old for this Tangram-esque Fabric Puzzle from Beauty All Around.

Tangram-esque Fabric Puzzle from Beauty All Around
Tangram-esque Fabric Puzzle from Beauty All Around

This Hidden Pocket Pillowcase from It's Just Sewing would be great for that social butterfly to take along to sleepovers.

Hidden Pocket Pillowcase from It's Just Sewing
Hidden Pocket Pillowcase from It's Just Sewing

One of the things I love about this Hot Wheels Shadow Box from Hot Wheels is that they attached the cars with Velcro, so they could be rearranged when the mood strikes.

Hot Wheels Shadow Box from Hot Wheels
Hot Wheels Shadow Box from Hot Wheels

These Printable Dress Up Dolls Play Dough Mats from Moms Crafters are a version of paper dolls that fits right into our 3D printing world.

Dress Up Dolls Play Dough Mats from Moms and Crafters
Dress Up Dolls Play Dough Mats from Moms and Crafters

This 10 Minute Teddy Bear Sleeping Bag from Gluesticks is a great way to add a little handmade to a store bought stuffed animal or doll.

10 Minute Teddy Bear Sleeping Bag from Gluesticks
10 Minute Teddy Bear Sleeping Bag from Gluesticks

I just love the adorable task dots on this DIY Clock for Kids from Cutesy Crafts.

DIY Clock for Kids from Cutesy Crafts
DIY Clock for Kids from Cutesy Crafts

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!

Hazelnut Snowman Ornament

Every day-after-Thanksgiving when I pull out the Christmas ornaments I look at the box and think "This won't possibly be enough to cover the tree!"  The artificial tree that is the exact same size it was last year, and the box of ornaments that, if anything, is more full than last time I saw it.  As I'm trying to find an empty space for the last few I realize how wrong I was.  Oh, well, at least it gives my husband a good laugh to start the holiday season.  Every year. I've made at least a quarter of the ornaments on our tree, if not more.  They're so much fun, because there are no rules.  You can make an ornament around any theme or subject, using just about any medium.  If you can hang it, it's an ornament. Given Oregon's abundance of hazelnuts, or filberts, as they were known before they got all fancy, they're the perfect thing to experiment with turning into something cute for the tree.

Hazelnut Snowman Ornaments by Crafty Staci
Hazelnut Snowman Ornaments by Crafty Staci

To make one of these ornaments you'll need:

  • two hazelnuts
  • white acrylic paint
  • 1/4" wide ribbon for hanging
  • cord, ribbon, yarn, narrow strip of fabric for scarf
  • clear sealant
  • black permanent marker
  • orange permanent marker

The first step is choosing good hazelnuts.  You want the tops to be fairly flat so you can glue them together easily.  The one on the left is perfect.  The one on the right is going to find himself in a cookie.

Choosing hazelnuts for snowman
Choosing hazelnuts for snowman

I bought a bag and just sorted through them to find the best candidates.  It was a little like a puzzle, and in fact when I found a good pair I made sure to keep them together.

Matching sets of hazelnuts
Matching sets of hazelnuts

Wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth.  Let the hazelnut dry.  Paint one side with white paint.  Let that dry about 30 minutes.

Painting the hazelnuts
Painting the hazelnuts

Flip it over and paint the other side.  Repeat if needed.  Mine took about 3 coats.  You could use spray paint instead if you'd like.

first coat of paint
first coat of paint

Apply a generous blob of hot glue to the top of one hazelnut.  Press the top of the other into the glue and hold until it cools a bit.  Lay it down to finish cooling.  Don't worry about the glue oozing out – we're going to cover that up later

Glue hazelnuts together
Glue hazelnuts together

Cut 7" of the 1/4" wide ribbon.  Knot the ends together.  Glue to the back of the snowman with the knot in the indent between the two hazelnuts.  Glue the ribbon to the back of his head, otherwise he'll dangle from his neck when you try to hang him up.

Glue on hanging ribbon
Glue on hanging ribbon

You can use just about anything scarf-like that you want around his neck.  I made some with ribbon, baker's twine, jute cord, and I even crocheted a short scarf from yarn for one.  Whatever you choose, tie or glue it around the snowman between the two hazelnuts.

Adding scarves
Adding scarves

Draw the face on with the permanent markers.  Spray with clear sealant and leave to dry.

drawing on the face
drawing on the face

Who cares if my tree already has too many ornaments?  There's always room for another cute snowman.

Hazelnut Snowman Ornament from Crafty Staci
Hazelnut Snowman Ornament from Crafty Staci

Or seven.

Hazelnut Snowman Ornaments from Crafty Staci
Hazelnut Snowman Ornaments from Crafty Staci

Friday Favorites–Gifts to Make for Him

It's often mentioned how difficult it is to find things to make for men, and yet I never seem to have any trouble finding lots of great ideas out there for guys.  If you want to make him a gift, I say fire up that glue gun, stand mixer, router or whatever tool you need to make it happen! Gifts to Make for Him - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

It never hurts to give him something he might be likely to share with you, like this Rustic Popcorn Sampler from DIY Projects.

Popcorn Sampler from DIY Projects

Make his feet more comfy with these Easy Sherpa Shoe Inserts from Sewing Rabbit.

Sherpa Shoe Inserts from Sewing Rabbit

I don't know why, but that fact that there's actually a hole in these Decorated Golf Cookies from Sweet Sugarbelle cracked me up.

Golf Cookies from Sweet Sugarbelle

This Magnetic Wristband from My Altered State is genius! I've fished SO many screws out of the dryer.

My husband would love these Malibu Rum Fruit Loops Treats from Averie Cooks, a more grown-up version of his favorite breakfast cereal.

Malibu Rum Fruit Loops Treats from Averie Cooks

If you've gone with "I'll just give him a tie" one too many times, he could probably really use this Tie Rack from Craftaholics Anonymous.

DIY Tie Rack from Craftaholics Anonymous

Put a smile on his face with this Milk and Cookies Fudge from Back for Seconds.

Milk and Cookies Fudge from Back for Seconds

Everything in those pockets has to go somewhere when he gets home.  This Leather Catch All Tray from eHow is a stylish solution.

Leather Catch-all Tray from eHow

These Moroccan Spiced Pepitas from Snixy Kitchen sound delicious, and just the right amount of spicy.

Moroccan Spiced Pepitas from Snixy Kitchen

If he likes to listen to music this Smart Phone Phono Horn from robives on Instructables might be a good gift for your guy.

Smart Phone Phono Horn from robives on Instructables

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!

Friday Favorites–Gifts to Make for Her

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving! If you're shopping today, you can use the coupon code CSBF2016 for free shipping on ANY order within the United States from my Etsy or Amazon shops.  International customers can get $5 off any order with the code CSBFINT16.  Both codes are good through Monday.  Happy shopping! If you haven't already started, it's time to think about those handmade gifts you want to give.  I'm here this week to share some ideas for the women in your life – I'd love to receive anything on this list!

Gifts to Make for Her - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Necklaces like this Leather Choker from Happy Girly Crafty are back in a big way this season.

Leather Choker from Happy Girly Crafty

I'm a sucker for a good theme, so I love all the components of this Peppermint Pampering Gifts in a Jar from The Gunny Sack.

Peppermint Pampering Gifts in a Jar from The Gunny Sack

You may not find the same compact that was used for this Solid Perfume in Vintage Compact from Thriftanista in the City, but there are lots of creative container possibilities.

Solid Perfume in Vintage Compact from Thriftanista in the City

I can think of so many handy uses for this Laminated Make-up/Toiletries Case from Sew4Home.

Laminated Make Up or Toiletries Case from Sew4Home

Yes, printing a label and putting it on a bottle makes it handmade.  If anyone tries to tell you differently, ask them again after the bottle is empty.  Printable Holiday Bottle Labels from The Elli Blog

Printable Holiday Bottle Labels from The Elli Blog

I think it's the little face on the teabag that gets me on this Tea Time Mug Rug from Wild Olive.

Tea Time Mug Rug from Wild Olive

Yes, please.  Chocolate Caramel Marshmallows from Domestically Blissful

Chocolate Caramel Marshmallows from Domestically Blissful

This Felt Succulent Garden from Lia Griffith can't die.  Consider that when crafting a gift for your friends who are lacking a green thumb.

Felt Succulent Garden from Lia Griffith

I can't even imagine how amazing these Pressed Evergreen Herb Candles from Garden Therapy must smell.

Pressed Herb Candles from Garden Therapy

This Printable 2017 Planner from The Handmade Home covers all the bases in a big way.

Printable Planner from The Handmade Home

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!

Slow Cooker Blackberry Apple Cider

This post was sponsored by the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission. This recipe is pretty going into the cooker, makes your house smell amazing for a few hours, provides you with a tasty hot beverage, then later a delicious cold drink, all with just a few ingredients, and it's very easy to make.  Does it get better than that?  Well, yes it does, because you can enjoy those delicious Oregon blackberries from the freezer in the cold of winter!

Slow Cooker Blackberry Apple Cider - serve hot or cold
Slow Cooker Blackberry Apple Cider - serve hot or cold

To make this Blackberry Apple Cider you'll need:

  • 5 – 6 of your favorite red apple (I used gala)
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 4 cups frozen blackberries
  • 4 sticks cinnamon (I used 4 long ones, and broke each in half)
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves (we like this with a strong clove flavor, but you can tone it down by using 1 teaspoon if you prefer it more subtle)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2016-11-20 001
2016-11-20 001

Quarter the apples (no need to peel or core) and drop into the slow cooker.  Add the blackberries (holding out a few and keeping them frozen if you plan to serve this cold), the cinnamon sticks and cloves.  Add water to within 1/2" of the top of the cooker, which was about 5 – 6 cups for me.  Stir the spices down into the liquid. Isn't this pretty?

Cider ingredients in slow cooker
Cider ingredients in slow cooker

Cook on low for 4 hours.  See how I forgot to mix the cinnamon into the liquid?  It still managed to solidly infuse its flavor into the cider.

Cider cooked for 4 hours
Cider cooked for 4 hours

Mash everything with a potato masher.  It doesn't have to be pretty or perfect.

Cider mashed
Cider mashed

Cook an additional 2 hours.  Strain the mixture in a strainer lined with cheesecloth.  Discard the solids.  Add the brown sugar and stir until it's dissolved.

cider after straining
cider after straining

At this point, you can serve this cider hot, which is amazing.

You can also refrigerate it until it's cold, then mix the cider with an equal part of club soda for a sparkling blackberry cider.

Sparkling Blackberry Apple Cider from Crafty Staci
Sparkling Blackberry Apple Cider from Crafty Staci

Drop in a couple of the frozen blackberries.  They'll help keep your drink cold without diluting it.  So good!

Sparkling Blackberry Apple Cider with frozen berries from Crafty Staci
Sparkling Blackberry Apple Cider with frozen berries from Crafty Staci

I have a bottle of prosecco waiting in the fridge for Thanksgiving.  We're planning to mix the blackberry cider with it in equal parts for an adult version of sparkling cider.  I can't wait to try it!

Have a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Slow Cooker Hot Blackberry Apple Cider from Crafty Staci
Slow Cooker Hot Blackberry Apple Cider from Crafty Staci
Sparkling Blackberry Apple Cider by Crafty Staci
Sparkling Blackberry Apple Cider by Crafty Staci
blackberry-apple-cider-in-the-slow-cooker-at-crafty-staci
blackberry-apple-cider-in-the-slow-cooker-at-crafty-staci

Travel Pillow Cover and Essentia GIVEAWAY!

Congratulations to Linda for winning the travel pillow! This post is sponsored by Essentia, but all opinions are my own.  I'm never without an opinion on pretty much anything.

My husband and I have been casually shopping around for travel pillows for a while now.  We have that long trip to Italy coming up in the spring, and we'd like to make it as comfortable as possible.  We haven't purchased anything yet, because it's been very difficult to make a decision.  Do we want something cheap in case we lose them, but sacrificing comfort?  What about inflatable pillows, so we can easily store them while we travel?  Well, thanks to my recent partnership with Essentia, the problem is solved.

Essentia sent me this pillow, called the Traveler (and also one for one of you – more on that in a few moments!), and it's everything you'd want it to be.  It's made from memory foam, but not just any – this is made using hevea milk (rubber tree sap), making it a natural product.  It's just the right amount of soft and supportive, and it can be squished to fit into a rather small space for storage while you travel.  It's made by our Canadian friends to the north, using no animal products.  I love everything about it.  My husband tried it out, and I'm surprised it hasn't disappeared yet.  I keep expecting to look over at the couch and find him sitting there with it around his neck.

Essentia Pillow Giveaway
Essentia Pillow Giveaway

I think the only thing stopping him was the cover.  I like it, and it's made from organic cotton, but I think he was looking for something a little more masculine.  That was an easy fix.

This Essentia pillow measures about 10 1/2" across and 3 1/2" tall.  If you're using this pattern to make a cover for a different size of pillow you'll need to make adjustments.  To make this cover you'll need:

  • this pattern
  • 1/3 yard knit fabric for the top and bottom
  • 4" knit fabric for the sides
  • 10" zipper

Cut two pillows from the first fabric, and a 4 by 53" strip from the second.

Supplies for travel pillow cover
Supplies for travel pillow cover

Cut one pillow piece at the dotted line on the pattern.

Cut one piece at dotted line
Cut one piece at dotted line

Fold the two cut edges under 1/4" and press.

Fold cut edges under
Fold cut edges under

Flip over so the folded edge is underneath.  Pin the upper folded edge on top of the zipper, 1/4" from the center of the teeth.  Sew close to the fold using a zipper foot.  Repeat on the other side.  Trim the zipper ends even with the edge of the pillow.

Zipper sewn in
Zipper sewn in

Pin the short ends of the long knit strip right sides together.  Stitch.  Pin the long strip to the edge of the zippered piece with right sides together.  Lots of pins.  This is where it's nice to use knit because it gives you a little flexibility when you're matching them together.

Adding side
Adding side

Stitch all the way around the edge.

First side added
First side added

Unzip the zipper at least halfway so you can turn it right side out after the next step.  Pin the remaining side edge to the zipperless pillow.

Adding remaining side
Adding remaining side

Stitch all the way around.  If your fabric is likely to unravel you'll want to finish the edges with a zigzag stitch.

Side added
Side added

Turn right side out through the zipper.  Insert the pillow.

Inserting pillow
Inserting pillow

Zip it up, pack a bag, and you're ready to go!

DIY Travel Pillow Cover by Crafty Staci
DIY Travel Pillow Cover by Crafty Staci

Now, about that giveaway…Essentia graciously sent me a second Traveler pillow for me to pass on to one of you.  You even know how to make a custom cover for it!  The retail price for this pillow is $89, and it would make a fantastic gift for that traveler in your life, if you don't decide to keep it yourself!  Here are the rules:

  • Open to the United States only, with my apologies to my international readers.  Postage – ugh!
  • Giveaway will be open from November 16 to November 22, 2016 at midnight.
  • To enter, tell me where you'd travel with your new pillow!
  • Winner will be contacted on November 23rd.

Friday Favorites–Thanksgiving

Before I get into this week's picks, I'd like to take a minute on this Veteran's Day to address all the current and former service men and women out there, and those who support them.  We owe you a great debt and the least we can offer is our appreciation.  Thank you for your service. I looked at the calendar a couple of days ago, and instead of the three weeks I thought I had until Thanksgiving, it had magically turned into two.  We're celebrating the day after the holiday, since my husband will be out protecting the streets on Thanksgiving, so that buys me one extra day.  Somehow I think that day will disappear just as quickly as all the rest!

Friday Favorites Thanksgiving DIYS and Recipes

Thanksgiving dinner starts with the table, and what better way to dress it up than with this Table Top Turkey Trot Quilt from Moda Bake Shop.

Table Top Turkey Trot Quilt from Moda Bake Shop

While we're talking about the table, how about these cute Printable Thanksgiving Turkey Place Cards from Capturing Joy?  I love the colors.

Thanksgiving Turkey Placecards from Capturing Joy

I'm really enjoying discovering all those fun English paper piecing projects out there.  Add this adorable Turkey Towel from Wild Olive to that list.

English Paper Piecing Turkey Towel from Wild Olive

These Crescent Roll Cornucopias from Kid Friendly Things To Do seem like a great pre-dinner snack.

Crescent Roll Cornucopia from Kid Friendly Things To Do

What is it about things that are miniature?  This Pumpkin Pie Fudge from Studio DIY is not only adorable, but it sounds tasty.

Pumpkin Pie Fudge from Studio DIY

There's nothing that says your Thanksgiving can't have a little activity besides eating.  This Turkey Hunt Game from Bloom Designs would be fun to play with the kiddos.

Printable Turkey Hunt Game from Bloom Designs Online

These Thanksgiving Pretzel Turkeys from Mommy Octopus just crack me up.  I'm not sure I could eat those big, googly eyes!  Yeah, there's candy – I'd probably find a way to get over it.

Thanksgiving Pretzel Turkeys from Mommy Octopus

What I love about these Pumpkin Rolls from Thistlewood Farms is that you don't necessarily have to start with bread made from scratch.

Pumpkin Rolls from Thistlewood Farms

Aww, this little stuffed turkey from Delilahiris is so cute!

Felt Turkey Doll from Delilahiris

These Thanksgiving Leftovers Printable Labels from Today's Creative Life would be great for helping those lucky recipients keep track of what they have to munch on later.

Thanksgiving Leftover Printable Stickers from Todays Creative Life

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!

Autumn Bounty Challenge Quilt

I set out looking for a quilt guild a few months ago.  Of course, I had no idea what you even do when you're part of one, but the idea intrigued me and I knew it was a lot of other people who like to play with fabric.  There can't be anything wrong with that. As luck would have it, a guild had just started that was meeting about 20 minutes from me.  I still consider myself an amateur quilter, but a full-fledged fan, so I was hoping I wouldn't be out of my depth.  Turns out, this group will welcome you with open arms, even if you don't know all the quilting lingo.  It's a highlight of my month.

Recently, one of our members organized a fun event called the Autumn Bounty Challenge.

Anyone who wanted to participate was given a piece of fabric, 6 by 24".  The instructions were to use as much of the fabric as you could.  The rules were that the project had to be quilted, be no larger than 45 by 45" and have a label.  This is what we each started with:

Autumn Bounty Challenge Quilt fabric
Autumn Bounty Challenge Quilt fabric

I'll be honest, this fabric wasn't something I would have picked if I were out shopping.  At first I was at a loss as to what I should do with it.  But I couldn't bail on my first ever quilt guild challenge, so I hit the books to find something that would make me happy when it was finished while still keeping the integrity of the fabric.

I ended up finding three blocks on Craftsy by Diane Knott that I loved.  Because they're all pieced and small, I didn't even have to buy any fabric.

Pieces for quilt blocks
Pieces for quilt blocks

The first one that caught my eye was the pumpkin.

Pieced Pumpkin quilt block
Pieced Pumpkin quilt block

The next was the scrappy sunflower.

Scrappy Sunflower Quilt Block
Scrappy Sunflower Quilt Block

And of course, I had to include the leaf to tie in to the fabric print.

Leaf quilt block
Leaf quilt block

Did I mention that all three of these patterns are free?

Three finished quilt blocks
Three finished quilt blocks

These were each 8 1/2" square when they were finished, but I cut them down to 8" to better fit with the leaf print.  I cut it into six 3 by 8" pieces.  I decided to go with the black background in the challenge fabric and add black between each piece.  That worked out well, since I end up with LOTS of black strips of fabric left over from my vendor aprons!

Blocks with top and bottom fabrics added
Blocks with top and bottom fabrics added

Black strips in between…

Black strips in between quilt squares
Black strips in between quilt squares

…and around the outside.  Top finished!

Black strips around outer edge
Black strips around outer edge

And there it sat for a while.  It's a little intimidating to think about quilting something that other, more experienced quilters are going to examine.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and just do it.  I pinned the heck out of that thing though.

Quilt pinned
Quilt pinned

I thought about quilting it by hand, but in the end did it on the machine.  I'll save that monumental attempt for another project.

Quilted pumpkin
Quilted pumpkin

I went through the same thought process over the binding.  In the end, it felt more important to have it finished.  Again, I went crazy holding it all together while I sewed.

Clips to hold binding
Clips to hold binding

Surprisingly, after all that the biggest sticking point of this whole project was the label.  I've made a couple of quilt labels in the past, but I don't think one has ever made it all the way to becoming attached to the quilt it was intended for.  The tiniest thing gave me the biggest headache.  What should I put on it?  What should it look like?  Should I embroider it?  Print it?  Handwrite it?  Ugh.

I finally decided to make it look like a postcard and print it from the computer.  I LOVE it!

Autumn Bounty Challenge Quilt Label
Autumn Bounty Challenge Quilt Label

It was really fun to work with something I didn't choose, and I found I really welcomed being forced to think outside my usual little bubble.  It caused me to find a method to use something in a different way, and not cast it aside because it wasn't my style.  The challenge was completed at last night's meeting, so now I can't wait to start using this on my table.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the next challenge is going to be!

Autumn Bounty Challenge Quilt on Crafty Staci
Autumn Bounty Challenge Quilt on Crafty Staci

Friday Favorites–Handmade Holiday Gift Guide

I like shopping online.  It takes me 15 – 20 minutes just to get to the nearest grocery store, and for anything else add even more time.  I don't mind the drive, and I do try to get out in the world once in a while, but it's nice to take my time, choose something special and have it brought right to my door.  The only thing that can make shopping through the computer or phone even better for me is when it's with someone I've actually met in person.  In preparation for those holiday gifts we're all starting to look for, I'd like to share some of my favorite shops on Etsy that belong to people I've met in real life! I belong to the Etsy affiliate program, so the following are affiliate links, but I have legitimate love for all of these Etsy shops. <3  Clicking on the product name or the photo will take you directly to that item in the shop.  Clicking on the shop name will take you to that shop's home page.

Chris Howell worked with my husband a few years ago.  I love the look of his shop and the story that lead him there.  I had a very hard time deciding between the item shown here and his wooden building blocks.  Either one would make a great gift, but in the end imagining this cedar scent won out.  Aromatic Spanish Cedar Soap Dishes from HowellsProducts

Aromatic Spanish Cedar Soap Dishes from HowellsProducts
Aromatic Spanish Cedar Soap Dishes from HowellsProducts

I met Holly at an Etsy event a couple of years ago, and have touched base at a craft show or two since.  I love her quirky style and fabric choices. How often do you see zombies on baby products?  The answer is, not as often as you should.  However, if the walking dead aren't your thing, she has lots of other options.  Zombies Boppy Nursing Pillow Cover from MarshMueller

Zombies Boppy Nursing Pillow Cover from MarshMueller
Zombies Boppy Nursing Pillow Cover from MarshMueller

Keely happens to be my niece, who I didn't consult with before writing this, so her shop is temporarily closed.  She's scheduled to reopen this weekend.  In the meantime, you can see some of her gorgeous art on her crazy-popular InstagramOriginal Artwork from KeelyElleWorks

from KeelyElleWorks
from KeelyElleWorks

I met Casey at an Etsy show I participated in a couple of years ago.  She organized the whole thing, and did an amazing job.  I've tried her peppermint sugar scrub, and it's perfect.  I don't even know what a kumquat smells like, and yet this one makes my mouth water.  Winter Kumquat Bath Salts from ArtisanLoft

Winter Kumquat Bath Salts from ArtisanLoft
Winter Kumquat Bath Salts from ArtisanLoft

I met Angie at an Etsy event a couple of years ago.  I could look at her shop all day.  Her colorful fabrics are perfect for her products, but my favorite thing is her character oven mitts.  This guy is at the tip top of the list.  Jack the Lumberjack Oven Mitt from collisionware

Jack the Lumberjack Oven Mitt from collisionware
Jack the Lumberjack Oven Mitt from collisionware

I met Beth at an Etsy show, but I'd been admiring her work before that.  I almost went with the cute Christmas ornaments she has in her shop now to feature here.  Or the soap dishes.  Or the serving set.  It was a tough decision.  Layered Green and Blue Fused Glass Pendant from bprdesigns

Layered Green and Blue Fused Glass Pendant from bprdesigns
Layered Green and Blue Fused Glass Pendant from bprdesigns

I also met Sharon at an Etsy sale.  Her kid-friendly designs and happy colors draw your attention.  So many great stocking stuffers and gifts here!  Pirate Crayon Wallet from ArtisticsoulDesigns

Pirate Crayon Wallet from ArtisticsoulDesigns
Pirate Crayon Wallet from ArtisticsoulDesigns

Nicole wins for the seller here that I've known the longest, since we met in about third grade!  I can even vouch for the quality of her gifts for your pooch.  My daughter bought one of her dog collars about a year ago, and it's still in great shape.  Plaid Dog Collar from Chasintail

Plaid Dog Collar from Chasintail
Plaid Dog Collar from Chasintail

Anyone who doesn't think fabric can be a gift doesn't know a sewist!  Even better, use it as gift wrap for a new sewing tool.  Kris and Abbi's shop is close to me, and we're part of the same quilt guild.  I love their combination of traditional and modern fabric.  Rotary Phone Fabric from FeatheredNest97030

Rotary Phone Fabric from FeatheredNest97030
Rotary Phone Fabric from FeatheredNest97030

I met Ann at an Etsy event, and have bumped into her at several since.  She's a talented artist, and I just love her style.  This is another shop that was nearly impossible to choose just one item from.  I went with a holiday option, but she's got you covered for everything from weddings to birthdays and everything in between.  Warmest Wishes Holiday Card from acbcDesign

Warmest Wishes Holiday Card from acbcDesign
Warmest Wishes Holiday Card from acbcDesign

While you're visiting Etsy, check out what's hot (or cool) in DIY winter crafting with these Editor's Picks!

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!

crafty-stacis-handmade-holiday-gift-guide-2016
crafty-stacis-handmade-holiday-gift-guide-2016

No Sew Fabric Turkey

Well, I never did pull out the Halloween decorations.  I feel like the mood will come back, probably once grandkids enter the picture, but for now it's just not there.  Kids at home or not, Christmas decorating will ALWAYS happen, but since my daughter insists I don't start on that until after Thanksgiving, I thought I'd make a little something to fill that gap in the calendar. This guy requires zero sewing, but is a great way to use up some fabric scraps.  And now I have a head start on my Thanksgiving table! This post contains affiliate links.

To make this turkey you'll need:

Materials for turkey
Materials for turkey

Trace the large tail onto the Craft Fuse.  Cut out and iron onto the wrong side of the red fabric.

Tracing tail on craft fuse
Tracing tail on craft fuse

Cut out around the edge of the Craft Fuse.  Do the same with the turkey body on the brown fabric.

Turkey body on craft fuse
Turkey body on craft fuse

Trace all 6 pieces onto the paper side of the Wonder Under.  Loosely cut out each piece and iron them onto the wrong side of the appropriate fabrics.

Pieces traced onto wonder under
Pieces traced onto wonder under

Cut around each piece on the tracing line.

Pieces cut out
Pieces cut out

Peel the paper off all pieces with Wonder Under.  Lay the turkey with Craft Fuse with the fabric side down.  Lay the Wonder Under turkey on top with the fabric side up.  Line up all edges and press to fuse together.

Fusing turkeys
Fusing turkeys

Flip over so turkey with Craft Fuse is facing up.  Place the wattle on the turkey and press.

Placing wattle
Placing wattle

Add the beak and press.

Applying beak
Applying beak

You can see the wattle didn't line up perfectly for me, so I just used some small, sharp scissors and trimmed away the excess.

Fold the turkey in half with the beak and wattle on the outside and press the fold.

Folded turkey
Folded turkey

Lay the large tail with Craft Fuse fabric side down.  Add the large Wonder Under tail on top and press.  Flip back over.  Center the medium tail on top, with bottom edges even.  Press.  Repeat with the small tail over that.

Fused tails
Fused tails

Using the pattern as a guide, cut the slits on the tail and body.

Cutting slits on tail and body
Cutting slits on tail and body

Match up the right slit on the tail with the right side slit on the turkey body.  Repeat on the left.

Matching up the slits
Matching up the slits

Slide the tail all the way down until the bottom edges are even.

Tail in place
Tail in place

Some of you might recognize that this turkey was inspired by this paper version that I made years ago.

Paper Stand Up Turkey by Crafty Staci
Paper Stand Up Turkey by Crafty Staci

I think either of these would make fun place cards.

No Sew Stand Up Fabric Turkey by Crafty Staci
No Sew Stand Up Fabric Turkey by Crafty Staci

One step closer to ready for Thanksgiving!

Friday Favorites–Halloween Decorating

Only ten days left until the big day, and I don't have so much as a pumpkin at my house.  I don't seem to have the enthusiasm for Halloween this year with no kids in the house.  In an effort to get myself in the mood, I'm hear to share a few decorating ideas that might get even this Halloween Grinch ready.  If not, I'll have to try some boos.  XD DIY Halloween Decorating

This Packing Tape Ghost from The Crafty Geek is spooky and eye-catching.  It would take some time, but I'm going to say it's worth it.

Packing Tape Ghost from Crafty Geeks

No, no, no.  Just…no.  Chucky from Tales of Twisted Fibers.

Chucky from Tales of Twisted Fibers

As a child of the 80's, this Pacman Halloween Garland from Minieco is a must-have for me.

Pacman Halloween Garland from Minieco

Before anyone gets all upset about this Lizzie Borden Baby Rattle from American Felt and Craft, note that it was shared on April 1st.  However, I think this would be a great addition to some scary Halloween costume or décor.  If you want to go ahead and use it as a baby rattle, I won't judge.

Lizzie Borden Baby Rattle from American Felt and Craft

Is it just me, or does it seem like these Paper Halloween Houses from Delia Creates could hang around through November?  I don't think they'd be out of place among some Thanksgiving decorations.

Paper Halloween Houses from Delia Creates

This Spooky Glowing Skull Frame from Epbot is SO much easier than it looks.

Spooky Glowing Skull Frame from Epbot

I think this Dangly Spider Stitch Picture from Stitcher Scribbler is kinda sweet.

Dangly Spider Stitch Picture from Stitcher Scribbler

I haven't tried string art yet, but I always like the idea of trying something new as a holiday decoration.  That way, if it doesn't turn out I don't have to look at it for long.  Maybe I'll start with this Skull String Art from A Beautiful Mess.

Skull String Art from A Beautiful Mess

I want a bunch of these Man Eating Monster Plants from Eden Makers lining the walkway to my house.

Man Eating Monster Plant from Eden Makers

Does anyone else remember when The Wizard of Oz played on television once a year, I think it was around Thanksgiving, and that was the only time you could watch it?  Before even VHS tapes?  This Halloween Witch Landing from All You reminds me of those days.

Halloween Witch Landing from All You

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!