The Christmas Post.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Ya know.  I'm just not one of those folks who gets all giddy with Christmas stuff.  And no offense if you do.  Everyone is different, amiright?

The clutter, the dust, then having to put it all away?  Mmmm.

But since we received all sorts of holiday stuff from my folks and Mike is super gung-ho all-things-Christmas can't-put-it-up-fast-enough, he asked if I'd put more stuff out this year.

So I did.  Not big time, not everything, just some.  But this isn't about the decor.

Mike purchased that nifty tea light candle holder at the Christkindlmarket.  And ah look, a new candle from Lynn!
But ya know too, every year I share with you my DIY holiday cards and I definitely always share what cookies are being baked in this household.  I mean, cookies, yeaaahhh.

Back in oh-'14 I shared two years worth of card ideas and a sizable list of cookie recipes in a Variety Pack post.

In 2015 it was a big batch a' quick Christmas crafts plus cookies of course.

And then in 2016, the adventurous cards and nummy cookies tossed into another Variety Pack.

By the way, heh, I would not advise that latter card route unless you are giving them in person.  Postal fiasco.  Many made it to their destinations in near and quite faraway places, some were returned, some returned twice, I went to the post office to pay more postage twice....

I think our last returned one arrived here in March, its third return; I hope it made it to its final destination all of six miles from us.  Eye roll.  Go Chicago postal service, yay!

Overall though, it's been a good collection so far.

This year I was at a card idea loss again so I web searched DIY and/or handmade holiday cards, as I'm wont to do each year around this time.  And magically, the idea fell fast and easy into my lap.  Sweet.

Which is good as I generally stress out over what to make.  Mike has taken to asking me why I stretch myself thin, why not buy some, make it easier on yourself.  Well, 'cuz I like making the cards and I think about each person receiving them as I tool along.  Sooo, I think that's a good thing.

These were the inspiration this year.  And I mean, c'mon, felt.  I am a major sucker for all things everything felt.  Major.

A trip to Michaels ensued.  Oh, yes, Michaels* finally finally finally opened up in a convenient to me location and I'm thrilled.  Thrilled, I say.

Now I don't have to suffer through Joann Fabrics purgatory for craft supplies, heh, solely fabric now.  There is something about this particular Joann location, the (had been) only fabric/craft store within a multi-mile radius so it's often a hellscape.  I mean, don't even during a holiday.  Any holiday.  Even the made up ones.  Yeah.

Anyway, yay Michaels!  (There's a thing on the right side bar. scroll down, which will take you to their weekly coupons, fyi!

So I picked up pinking shears,* some kraft paper envelopes,* packs o' kraft tags,* some wood stars that had a sticky back,* a glittery pen,* and headed home.


At first the plan was to make the single tree version in that link above but after digging through my seemingly dwindling felt collection, yes I am all-a'-panic having trouble breathing now I need more felt, it became apparent that the multi-mini-tree idea was more practical.

Shoulda rummaged first, shopped second, alas ah well.

Ok!

So the envelopes are A7, or better known as 5x7.

I began by cutting rectangles of felt at vaguely 4.75x6.75 with normal scissors.  There wasn't enough of any one color to do the backgrounds all the same.  Which hey, cool, every card is unique then!

Next I clipped the edges with the pinking shears.  Those things have a learning curve, so yeah, don't get discouraged.  Maybe test run them several times first before going whole hog on your project pieces like I did.

Yeah, pinking shears, no worries, just like regular scissors!  No not really.
After that, I dug through my felt assortment and yanked out scraps in multitudes of colors.  First I cut strips in varying widths, then cut triangular trees.

Easiest way to do that?  Cut a diagonal one direction, then snip in the opposite direction.  You can zip across the strip with near zero waste.

Surely you already knew this trick, but just in case you didn't.  Speedy triangles!
I think I got a little snip happy and over-cut triangles.  Oops.  Heh, I could make lil' strings of uber-trendy pennants now I suppose.

Um, did I overdo it?  Everyone gets a card, yeah!
Right, so lastly I trimmed up some small squares in yellow.

Time to power up the ouchie hot glue gun.

I started with a big green tree in the middle, adding a yellow square turned on a forty-five-ish degree angle above it.

Lone triangle tree to start.
After that it was merely gluing on triangles.  I ended up with a total of five triangles per card.

Ok!  Lookin' cute!


Next, the tags.  Oh.  Oh wait, they're darn huge.  Huge.  Uhhh, yeah, those aren't going to work.  So back to Michaels I dashed.

I ended up with a 12x12 sheet of glitter cardstock which I cut into rectangles.

Gliiiiitterryyy.
After writing our wishes and names on each, I used a big fat needle and some magenta embroidery thread* to tie them on.


All that was left was tending to burnt fingers, pulling off endless strings of hot glue, removing errant dog fur, and envelope stuffing.


Yay!  Christmas cards complete.  Always a good feeling.

Cute, yeah?
Awwwww.
Now onto the part you really came here for:  the cookies.

The cookies have yet to be baked therefore my list was ebbing and flowing but it's feeling pretty set now.  And it appears I'm quite overzealous.

By the way, I had mentioned I used MacGourmet as my recipe app.  I had for years and years and years.  No longer.  Sick of crap not working or recipes vanishing or getting screwy and the constant crashing, terrible customer service, I threw in the towel.

My new app is Paprika and it's awesome.  Everything works, it's fantastic.  It's pricey.  I waited for it to go on sale, ya know, just in case it didn't work for me.  But it does and it's great.  Yay, cha-ching!

Oh and this'll be the first year of cookie baking with my spiffy new kitchen scale.*  I seriously don't know how I survived without one, it is soooo excellent.

Anyway, here's my list for this year unless Mike disapproves of something which heh, please, he'll be a-okay because cookies.  (He approved via long stare, jaw drop, a rivulet of drool.)

The mandatory Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies of course.  Always coveted.  Folks get like Lord of the Flies* over these.  Looks like it'll have to be two batches too.

My brother's favorite, and now one of Mike's all time favorites, my mom's butter cookie recipe.  As I shared last year, this is the closest version to her recipe.  I could share her recipe but ....guess you'll have to wait until my friend Jenny and I fire up that baking blog idea we keep bandying about.

The gingerbread cookies last year were a hit mostly because they were German Shepherd shaped* so they made the cut this year.  Very soft, pliable cookies fyi.  Indeed very tasty too.

Next few on the list, the untested wildcard batches:  first is Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate Cookies.  I think the reasoning here is obvious.  Hey, they're gluten free too!  Healthy!  hahahaha

A recent addition to my recipe collection are these Chocolate Brownie Cookies so we'll see how those turn out.

And because I'm delusional thinking I'll have oodles and oodles of free time, why not toss in Bacon Caramels too.  Why not.  Bacon.

We'll see how far I get.

Happy holiday season to you!

*The German Shepherd cookie cutter, embroidery floss, and kitchen scale are Amazon affiliate links.  The Michaels link and all the craft supply goodies are Michaels affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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