Friday Favorites No. 316

You may have noticed a kink or two being worked out around here this week (thank you to my patient email subscribers!) and there are a few more to go, but overall the transition to my new blogging space went a little more smoothly than I expected. Yay!

Since I've set up a shop here, in addition to those that will remain on Etsy and Amazon, I'm offering you a little incentive to try it out. Get free shipping if you place an order over $10 using the code LAUNCH2017. The code will only work here, not in my other shops. If you run into any issues along the way, please let me know. It's a work in progress!

On to this week's Friday Favorites!

Make Winter 2017.png

I hear there's some sort of ball game happening this weekend? If, like me, you're one of those people who is only in it for the commercials, these printable bingo cards from Play Party Plan are for you.

Maybe you'll need something to do between the commercials. Or you might be someone who enjoys the game but could do without the sales pitches. Either way, this wire and nail heart from As For Me and My Homestead will keep your hands busy.

While everyone else is enjoying the wings and dips, I'm looking for the desserts. The secret ingredient in this one from Life Love and Sugar is Bailey's Irish Cream, so I'm in.

I had to include these cookie dough ice cream sandwiches from Mel's Kitchen Cafe because my daughter just told me there's a restaurant in New York that serves these, along with all other things cookie dough. A cookie dough restaurant. Let that sink in for a minute while I plan my cross-country trip.

I don't know if this 3D sewing machine box from the Silhouette store is as complicated to make as it looks, but it's cute enough to be worth the effort.

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Hearts and Tassels Garland

I mentioned last month that Afternoon Live had invited me back to do another segment on their lifestyle show - tomorrow is the day! I thought I'd be less nervous this time, but you guys, I picked a craft that involves a glue gun! I'm just hoping I can keep from gluing myself to anything. 

I thought I'd give you a sneak preview of what I'm making tomorrow, since it's very Valentiney and that month just popped up on the calendar. This is an easy project, would be fun to make with kids and takes few supplies. My favorite kind.

For this project you'll need:

  • felt
  • twine, ribbon, cord or yarn
  • glue

There are two parts to this, so we'll start with the hearts.

For each heart you'd like to make, cut a strip of felt 1 x 9".  The long side should be the width of the felt if you're using the rectangles you usually find in the craft store. It might not be an exact measurement, but close is fine. Cut a piece of twine about 3".

Fold the felt in half to find the center.  Add a drop of glue near the center. I prefer hot glue, but if you don't mind waiting for it to dry just about any glue will work.

Bring the ends of the twine together and form a loop. Another, probably better, option is to cut it longer and tie a knot in the ends. Stick the ends into the glue.

Fold the strip with the glue inside. Hold for a second to let the glue cool.  Flip it over so the twine is on the bottom and add glue near the other end of the strip.

Bring the ends together and hold to cool.

And boom, you have a heart! Or do it a bunch of times, and you'll have a bunch of hearts.

By the way, if you want to skip the glue, you can use staples! For some reason, it worked better for me when I held the stapler in my hand.

Now, about that tassel. Cut a piece of felt 2 x 4".  Cut strips along the long edge 1/4" wide, stopping 1/2" from the top. 

To create a felt loop, pull the first strip up and glue the end to the top, as shown below, making a loop above the top edge.

The other option is to cut a piece of twine about 4", tie a knot in it and glue it to the end.

Once you've created the loop of your choice, start rolling up the tassel from that end.

When you reach the end, add another dab of glue near the corner and finish rolling.

Fluff the ends.

String as many as you'd like to make on your twine of choice.

I asked my husband to drill a couple of holes in a board for me so I could stick dowels in it to hang this from. Being the creative guy he is, he came back with this instead. I can't wait to take it with me tomorrow!

Friday Favorites No. 315

If all goes well, this will be my last post before I switch over to my new website. I've spent a lot of time on my treadmill lately, trying to make up for the hours I've spent in this chair working on it. Hopefully you won't really notice much of  a change, since you'll still find me at craftystaci.com. Also, remember if you're following me through Wordpress only, you won't receive future updates from my new site unless you subscribe here. Enough boring computer talk, let's look at pretty things! Friday Favorites No. 315 from Crafty Staci

This post contains affiliate links for Etsy.

Make Winter 2017

If you do any kind of needlework, you know you really can't have too many pincushions. I love how this one from The Family Hearth manages to look like a spool of thread and an embroidery floss card, all at the same time.

Spool Pincushion from The Family Hearth

I'm fascinated with hand lettering. It's something I haven't been able to master, but this comprehensive collection of links and instructions from Dawn Nicole Designs makes me think it's possible.

Hand Lettering 101 from By Dawn Nicole

Cook Winter 2017

Valentine's Day doesn't always have to be about hearts and flowers. This adorable fudge from Hungry Happenings would be a great gift for anyone, even those that aren't into the mushy stuff.

Cookies and Cream Fudge Rocks from Hungry Happenings

I hate to call it a resolution, but my husband and I made it a goal to start eating more produce. We've already tried some great, and some not-so-great, recipes using lots of vegetables.  The fruit options are pretty limited this time of year, but Dinner at the Zoo found a way to make it work beautifully.

Winter Fruit Salad from Dinner at the Zoo

Buy Winter 2017

I've been a fan of Spoonflower for years. I wish it was a little more affordable, but I guess I can't complain when I'm getting whatever I want printed on fabric. In fact, I made a memory card wallet for one of my Etsy customers last week with their logo on it using Spoonflower fabric. They also print the backs for the fabric bookmarks I include with each order.

There are lots of talented textile artists sharing their work there, but searching through it can be a little overwhelming. That just got easier with Spoonflower's debut on Etsy. The collection there seems much more curated and manageable to browse. The only question is, which do I need to add to my stash?

Spoonflower on Etsy

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

January Hoop Art of the Month–I Heart You

Those of you who've been around here for a while might remember the Hot Pad of the Month series I started in 2015 that ended eighteen months later.  We could go back even further to the coffee cup sleeve series, which was way back in 2013.  Well, I've intended to start another monthly series, but I was a little up in the air about what it would be.  That is, until inspiration hit me last month.  This time, I'm going to do a project each month that involves hoop art, which basically means anything I can fit in an embroidery hoop.  I have a full page of potential ideas, which of course I'll have to winnow down, but I'm excited about it. Some months will involve sewing, others won't.  The sizes will vary.  You'll probably see a variety of mediums and supplies, like fabric, buttons, felt, embroidery floss, maybe even some a little more unexpected.  I can't wait any longer to share the first one with you! I'd like to point out, unlike my other series, I'm actually starting this one in January!  Barely, but still.  Since we all know it takes a while to make stuff, I had next month's Valentine's Day on my mind for this one.  All you'll need to make these is fabric, three 3" embroidery hoops, felt, a hot glue gun and this pattern.

Technically, there are two different ways you can sew this together.  You could trace each tiny piece, adding 1/4" seam allowance, and sew them all together.  The other option is paper piecing, which is what I recommend and the method I used.  Some of these pieces are pretty small, and that's the easiest way to handle them.  If you're unfamiliar with how to do paper piecing, I highly recommend this video by The Crafty Gemini.

To start, cut out each pattern square on the outside line.  Cut the horizontal lines only inside the square.  Leave the vertical lines intact.  The circle is only a guide to show where the embroidery hoop will be in the end.

The top and bottom row of each square is solid, so it doesn't need to be pieced, but when you cut it out add a 1/4" to the inside line for a seam allowance.  Piece the other rows together, then add 1/4" to both long edges when you trim them.  You should end up with something like this:

And this is what it looks like from the front:

Stitch each of the rows together with a 1/4" seam, then remove the paper.  Give it a good pressing.  Once again, here's the back:

And the front:

The I is the easiest of the three, because there are no angles.  When you're sewing the others, just be sure your fabric covers the area it should and leaves enough for your 1/4" seam allowance.  I'll admit, I used the seam ripper a couple of times trying to get that right.  I also freaked out thinking I had completely messed up the heart and it wasn't going to fit together, but I forgot to account for the seam.

See?  Not perfect, but acceptable.  My new mantra.

The U has a couple of angles to it too.

I left plenty of space around the letters to fit them in a hoop, but I also made them square so you have other options if you choose to skip the hoop.  These would be cute sewn into a table runner, or made into hot pads, or mug mats, or a quilt…

But we're talking about hoop art here.  I know I'm probably the only person who'll ever see the back of these (in person), but I needed them to look finished anyway.  Trace the embroidery hoop onto a piece of felt and cut it out just inside the line.  You'll need three of those.

Insert the square into the embroidery hoop, making sure it's centered before tightening the screw.

You can trim some of the fabric if you like, but I found it was easy to stuff it inside the back as it was.

Hot glue around the edge of the hoop and press the felt over the top.  I found it worked better if I glued one half, then the other.

You can get a little creative here and add some ribbon or trim.  I tied a ribbon bow at the top, then took it off because I actually preferred them without it.

I hope you're looking forward to the rest of this year as much as I am!

Friday Favorites No. 313

It took all the willpower I could muster to stay in my seat yesterday. Not only did I need to write this new Friday Favorites, but I'm working on building a new website where I'll be moving Crafty Staci soon. I know nothing of doing such a thing, so the learning curve is requiring rock climbing gear for me. That made it hard enough, but through the window behind me was a gorgeous blue sky with a bright sun shining down on several inches of frozen white snow. I just wanted to go play outside. But because I'm dedicated to our handmade cause, I stayed put and did my job. Maybe tomorrow can be a self-employed snow day. Since this is the first Friday Favorites in this new format, let me explain where I'm going with this. Previously, every week contained ten links, usually something to craft or sew, often a recipe or two, and occasionally something for purchase.  There was always a theme, like penguins or outdoor games.

Fridays will now be five links.  There will always be at least one thing to craft or sew, one recipe and one thing that can be purchased.  The other two will fit into those categories as well, depending on what I find that week.  For instance, this week is three sewing/crafts, one recipe and one item for sale.  There won't necessarily be a theme, but I'll try to make sure it makes sense to the season.

Most weeks the link for the item to purchase will be an affiliate link. I love providing free patterns and content here, but I need to find a way to make it more financially self-sustaining.  I considered selling patterns, but I'd rather continue to offer those to you for free and use the affiliate links and sponsored content to support the blog instead. I will earn a commission if you happen to click through and make a purchase and it will add nothing to the cost for you.  That said, I want you to know that my primary goal is to support handmade, and I will continue to do that with the same integrity I always have.  If I link here, it's to something I want or admire.  If you have any questions about that, please feel free to reach out to me via the comment section below, social media or email (craftystaci at gmail).

Ready?

This post contains affiliate links for Amazon and Etsy.

Make Winter 2017
Make Winter 2017

I've seen these hats with a hole in the top for a ponytail all over the place lately. It's a smart idea, and I could use one myself. As you might imagine, there are patterns everywhere, but the reason I chose to feature this one by Mango Tree Crafts is that she offers it in three different sizes and there's an option to add a cute flower. You crochetists get all the good stuff.

Messy Bun Hat Pattern from Mango Tree Crafts
Messy Bun Hat Pattern from Mango Tree Crafts

I've been tempted to try making myself a pair of shoes ever since I saw the soles you could buy by Dritz (Amazon Affiliate link). I've been eyeing the ones with a higher heel, but I love what Dritz did with the espadrille sole on their blog.  Who knew you could make boots? The free pattern is available for sizes 5 through 10.

I like a good sweater, but I get tired of wearing them day after day. I'm too cold to consider anything less, but I think I could work one or two of these sweatshirts from Sewing Rabbit into my wardrobe. I love that she gave the neck a little creative detail, and it looks pretty easy to make.

Cowl Neck Sweatshirt Pattern from The Sewing Rabbit
Cowl Neck Sweatshirt Pattern from The Sewing Rabbit
Cook Winter 2017
Cook Winter 2017

January in my house means we're trying to improve our eating habits after the holiday calorie train goes back to the station. That, combined with the fact that soup is the perfect winter food, means this turkey chili from Ambitious Kitchen just made my must-make list.

Healthy Turkey Chili from Ambitious Kitchen
Healthy Turkey Chili from Ambitious Kitchen
Buy Winter 2017
Buy Winter 2017

My daughter bought a scarf from storiarts when they were selling at a local craft show a couple of years ago. The print quality is really nice. I love the black detail on these Sherlock Holmes Writing Gloves they're selling on Etsy, and who needs writing gloves more than me and my extremely cold hands? My daughter would say that she does.

Sherlock Holmes Writing Gloves from storiarts on Etsy
Sherlock Holmes Writing Gloves from storiarts on Etsy

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Friday Favorites–Top Ten and Time for a Change

In October of 2010, I decided to start a series on my shiny, new blog.  Every Friday I would share links to things I'd found that week that I thought you might enjoy.  This being a craft blog, they would generally be crafts, sewing or recipes you could make, occasionally throwing in something you could buy but that still landed firmly in the crafty world.  I always had a theme, and these were the days before Pinterest, so finding projects was challenging, but fun. Since then, I've written 312 Friday Favorites posts.  I usually keep it to ten links each, so that means I've featured about 3120 links in the last 6+ years.  Looking at those numbers floors me.  Who knew I had that kind of attention span?

I know this sounds like a death rattle at this point, but I'm not getting rid of Friday Favorites.  I like talking about what other people are doing and ending the week with a round up, and that will continue – it will just be in a different format.  I'm ready for a change.  Tune in next Friday to see what that's going to look like.

To put this version of Friday Favorites to bed, I thought I'd share the ten most popular I've curated.  Some of these go WAY back, and some have dead links in them, but most of the projects are still accessible.  A couple of my personal favorites turned up in here too.  Let's take a look.

#1 Fat Quarter Projects

This is one of those personal favorites I mentioned, and it landed in first place.  Small, simple fabric projects are where my crafty heart lies, and these fit that bill.

Friday Favorites - Fat Quarter Projects
Friday Favorites - Fat Quarter Projects

#2 T-Shirt Refashion and Recycling

T-shirt related projects had their moment in the spotlight a few years ago.  The one shown below is one of those dead links, but the nice thing about these is that with even a little sewing and craft experience, they're pretty easy to figure out.

Friday Favorites - T-Shirt Refashion and Recycling
Friday Favorites - T-Shirt Refashion and Recycling

#3 DIY Gifts for Guys

Just about everyone has a guy somewhere in her life – husband, son, brother, dad, friend, cousin, etc.  The need for creative ideas for those men is why I'm never surprised when this one turns up again on Pinterest.

Friday Favorites - DIY Gifts for Guys
Friday Favorites - DIY Gifts for Guys

#4 For the Car

Fun fact:  the car seat organizer tutorial shown below is the most clicked in all of those 3120 links I've shared.  The website isn't updated anymore, and is barely functional, so if this is something you're interested in I recommend saving it somewhere.

Friday Favorites - For the Car
Friday Favorites - For the Car

#5 Shark Week

I don't even know if the Discovery Channel still does Shark Week every year, but that was what sparked this collection.

Friday Favorites - Shark Week
Friday Favorites - Shark Week

#6 Pinterest Finds

I wrote this one when I was pretty new to Pinterest, back when someone had to invite you to join.  It's almost not even the same place anymore, although I still find myself coming back every time I say I'm done with it.  It feeds my need to collect.

Friday Favorites - Pinterest Finds
Friday Favorites - Pinterest Finds
Open-mouthed smile
Open-mouthed smile

Christmas treats are evergreen.  Except maybe those melting snowman cookies.  They had their moment in the sun.

Friday Favorites - Christmas Treats
Friday Favorites - Christmas Treats

#8 Halloween Costumes

These were always one of my favorites to research.  There are so many cute costumes out there, and no shortage of adorable little bits like this one to wear them.

Friday Favorites - Halloween Costumes
Friday Favorites - Halloween Costumes

#9 Valentine's Day

This one seems particularly timely, with Valentine's Day coming up on the calendar.

Friday Favorites - Valentine's Day
Friday Favorites - Valentine's Day

#10 Snowflakes

I currently have snow in my front yard, so I was kind of happy to see this one on the list.

Friday Favorites - Snowflakes
Friday Favorites - Snowflakes

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!

Sign-up-for-the-Crafty-Staci-newsletter.png
Sign-up-for-the-Crafty-Staci-newsletter.png

Printable 2017 Planner

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links. I feel like I embrace modern technology whenever I can.  I couldn't wait to get a smart phone back when they were called PDAs and didn't have access to the internet.  Between my husband and I we have a desktop computer, two laptops, two tablets and two smart phones, which doesn't even include his work phone and computer.  With all those electronics, I have access to my digital calendar everywhere I turn.  Still, I keep coming back to paper and pen. I have one paper calendar and one Lego calendar on my desk and a paper calendar hanging in my sewing room.  If I had to give one up, it probably would be the one that needs electricity.

It might go without saying, but I also have a planner.  I did give it up for a few years, but there's something so satisfying when you can write down a task and cross it off in INK.  Marking an electronic box doesn't provide me with the same rush.  This year, I decided I wanted one where each week was a full 8 1/2 by 11" page.  After some searching, I decided to make my own.  I know I'm a few days late for the start of the year, but I forgot to write "Share printable planner on the blog" in my new planner.  Irony at its finest.

As I said, each page is 8 1/2 by 11".  I sprung for some heavier 32 lb. paper so it wouldn't bleed through when I printed them or when I write in it.  I also hunted down some colorful month dividers.  I contained the whole thing in a 1" black view binder. I bought all three on Amazon, and the links will take you to each.

I printed these two sided, which I'd recommend unless you want a blank sheet on the back of each.  I followed the way my planner was laid out last year and completed each week, regardless if a new month fell into it.  That will make sense after you look at the pages.

Planner page inside
Planner page inside

At the front, I have yearly calendar pages for 2016 through 2019.  I like to be able to look at the years easily.  You know, just in case.

Yearly pages
Yearly pages

At the beginning of each month is a monthly calendar.  It might seem like overkill, but being able to see the entire month at a glance, separate from the rest of the year, can be handy.

Month page
Month page

I also added a page for menu planning and a shopping list.

Planner with menu page and shopping list
Planner with menu page and shopping list

There are two pages, so if you print it two-sided you can remove the shopping lists and keep the menu in your planner.

shopping list removed
shopping list removed

If you happen to have one of the tools shown in the photo below, originally for transferring marking to fabric, it works great to roll in down the middle of the two sides to perforate the paper.

Tool for perforating
Tool for perforating
perforated page
perforated page

Now for the downloads!  I kept each month separate to make it a little easier and not such a huge file.  The month pages are all together, as are the years.  The yearly file also includes the 2017 I used for the front.  Good luck and here's to a year of organization and marked checkboxes!

Yearly Calendars

Monthly Calendars

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Menu and Shopping List

Sign up for the Crafty Staci newsletter
Sign up for the Crafty Staci newsletter

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just love the adorable task dots on this 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