Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Cheer- Puzzlemaking, cookie baking, snowflake crafting, soaptastic, holiday get-together GOOD TIMES!

Hello friends!

I have so many pictures to share with you :)  I attended many events recently and have just now gotten to edit them. 
So the night before Thanksgiving we pulled out our Christmas boxes to see what we had in the way of decorations. As I said usually we are gone over the holidays traveling with Ricky's family so it was nice to be at home this year. We don't have a ton of decorations, but we enjoyed stringing a few strands of lights on the front of the house. I love the glow of old skool Christmas lights. The new led ones are way too bright to give that cozy glow.

One of the first holiday events we did this year was based on a gift from Ricky's parents. This was such an amazing idea. I had wanted to blog about our progress, but it only took us like 2 days. So here is what our gift was. Each of us(his parents, his sister and her hubby and us) got the same puzzle on which to work. We received it just before Thanksgiving. Our mission was to work on our puzzle and take pictures of the progress and share them on Facebook since we aren't all in the same city to enjoy the holidays together.
 Here is what the puzzle looked like. It is by "Tooniverse" and it was called "All dogs must be on a leash". This zany cartoon puzzle had dogs running amok in the city.
Here you can see Ricky hard at work using his strategy of building the outside of the puzzle first. I always tease him because when he is totally into something he gets that crinkle on his face while he is concentrating :D
Can you sense the intensity? lol he was pretty into this puzzle :D He was being a puzzle hog at first and it was hard to work together.
Here is the outer edge of the puzzle and a few more pieces. After a little while we worked together. I separated the puzzle pieces into similar pictures for easy construction after sorting and he would describe to me the things that were on a piece he needed. This worked out pretty well.
Ok so they were right. It was pretty addictive....
Getting closer... Just a few more pieces.
 Finito! Ok so it was pretty fun. I was kinda ready to do another one after we finished this one. My mom always does puzzles in the winter too. It was really fun to do one in our home this year.

Now this next event is a MUST no matter if you are watching calories or not over the holiday season. Who doesn't participate in cookie baking?!

This year we tried a new recipe my sister found on Betty Crocker. These were called "Coconut-Butterscotch-Fudge cookies". You start by taking a base of sugar cookie mix and rolling the balls in coconut.

Next you bake until golden brown.
 Once they are a little bit cooled off from the oven you put on butterscotch drizzle and then top them with fudge. These are both ice cream topping thingies. They were pretty f*ing delicious! They pretty much tasted like an Almond Joy Twix. Yeah, I know! Mmmmmm!
 Next we got the Hershey's kisses ready for Peanut Butter Blossoms. These have been one of my favorite cookies to make over the years next to frosted sugar cookies :D
Mom and dad's dog, Lucy was eager to get her nose into the food while we were baking. Can you hear her thoughts? "Drop it, drop it, DROP IT!"
 Peanut butter containers are always a pain to clean out so we gave the jar to Lucy to get it clean. As you know dogs are CUCKOO for peanut butter!
I love putting the kisses in the cookies when the come out from the oven. Too bad mom and Nina were faster than me! While I was busy documenting they pressed all of the chocolate into the tops of the cookies.
 What is Christmas without making Mexican Wedding Cakes? I dunno, but we have made them every year for forever and so have most of the people we know :) Ok so this wasn't the exact recipe we made, but it's the first one that came up in Google :) 
 Mom said I should take a picture of her and Nina so here it is. The bakers in the family :)

What is this season without some simple decor, right? Why not make some paper snowflakes? My friend Ronnie and I had both posted this so we thought it would be fun to get together and make handmade paper crafts :D

Now whilst in the holiday spirit, you know one can't go to a snowy craft making session without some snowy jewelry, right? :D
 I wore my snowflake necklace Melissa made me last year. She was inspired to make a snowflake designed pendant with one of my etched glass lentils. I am not sure if she is teaching this class at the store this year or not?
She also made me this prettiful bracelet design that she created including one of her lampwork starflake beads :D
I also thought to bring over my peppermint candy cane from Hammond's that I purchased at our local grocery store. It reminds me of candy canes I used to get back in the day when I was a child. At my dad's work's Christmast party they would order candy canes from a local shop in my home town of Racine Wisconsin. They were pretty sweet because both ends were angle cut. 
 While living in Colorado I had this debate with Ricky's dad the candy cane connoisseur. He told me that these style candy canes didn't exist! I knew he was wrong so I made it my mission to find them. When I had asked mom about them she had told me that it was from our local town. The shop had long since closed down because the man that had owned the shop had died and his kids didn't want to continue the family business(wtf?! Why do people always do this with the good stuff?!!)

Shortly after I found these candy canes in our local grocery store and HAD to prove myself right to Ricky's dad! :D

So before getting started on our snowflake making, Ronnie and I separated his snowflakes from Christmas' past. 
I loved them all, but I was impressed by Martin's snowflake on the right. He isn't really an artistic person by nature so I was impressed with his design :)
Aren't they GORGEOUS? Ronnie is one of the most artistically talented people I know, so I was honored to share this fun pastime of snowflake making with him :)
Look he even made teeny snowflakes with the left over skinny rectangle of paper scrap from making the larger ones.

While we were creating snowflakes, Bronx, their newest addition snuggled in his blanket while we were busily cutting and listening to Christmas music :D
Yeah, he's SOOOO cute, isn't he?!
He was pretty cold so he got into this cute little ball :D
Here was Ronnie's first snowflake. Pretty huh?
 Here was mine. Ok so I'm not the expert, but I was happy with it :) After you cut them out you put them inbetween 2 pieces of wax paper and iron them. This keeps them flat and makes them a bit sturdy.

"Ronnie, show me your pretty snowflake."See!  I told you he was really creative! Look how pretty his snowflakes are. He even made pretty edges. Mine kind of all ended up round.
We continued until we had a pretty good stack of snowflakes. Ronnie let me keep his since he had a lot from the other years he had been making them :D 
Here you can see them in action  on my front door :D

Our next event was actually at Indigo Wild for their friends and family invite only night, but I didn't get a chance to click some pictures :( I saw someone there clicking photos so I bet at some point they will end up on their facebook page so if you are interested keep checking back there.  There were lots of amazing people, awesome food and of course my very FAVORITE all natural, local products including their Zum Bars!

So now I can finally show you what Santa(me  :D) made for them for Christmas! Before I show you what they got, let me catch you up on how I came to know them.
My romance for their amazing products took place after purchasing a Zum Bar from our local grocery store. I do believe that Zum Bars are the "gateway product" ;)

I was inspired by the artistic nature of their soaps. On one rainy afternoon I had the incredible idea to translate their products into glass! My very first design I made was for their owner, Emily Voth.

Here you can see their swirly soaps made into glass along with some Hilltribe silver. Their company is one of the best I have ever encountered! Their products are top notch, their people are incredible, and they run an amazing business! Did I mention they were also eco and awesomely silly? I mean who else can get away with saying things like "Did you make Santa's "A list" or "A-hole list?", stop production to sit down to lunch together, and bring their dogs to work?!  LOL I just LOVE everything about them! This must be why they inspire me ALL of the time!

Ok so onto their gifts....

 Here were the gifts I made for Co-Owner, Betsy Medina. She is such an incredible person for so many reasons! She survived breast cancer so to honor her journey and raise awareness they created the Besty Bar, which is lavender and lemon scented. Proceeds from each purchase are donated to their favorite organization, Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing.
Here is the front side of the necklace. It includes  upcycled paper from their catalog made into a soldered charm, a glass Betsy Bar, some Swarovski crystal, a silver swirl and a pink breast cancer ribbon.
 Here is the back side of the pendant. The new catalogs have these amazing black and white drawings in them. One one of their catalog pages it says "Boobs,Bitches, and Babes". I cut the "OO" out of the "boobs" part to go along with the "breast" theme :D

 Here is one of the Zum Bar keychains I made for Emily. It is their Sandalwood Citrus bar with a shrinky dink dangle.
 Here are the Zum Bar wine charms I made featuring their popular scents: Lemongrass, Patchouli, Lavender- Mint, and my very favorite, Frankincense and Myrrh.

Our last event for the week was Ronnie and Martin's holiday get-together at Martin's house. Martin has a gorgeous older home in downtown Kansas City. It is ALWAYS immaculate and fancily decorated!
The front of the house was all decorated in pretty white lights.
 In the dining room a palm was decorated with silver glass ornaments and a red up-light. The glow was really pretty. My non-flash picture didn't turn out so here you can see it with the flash on.
Here was the dining room table next to the palm.
 In the front room a large Christmas Tree was decorated.

and the stockings were hung with care :)

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season as much as we are.

Happiest Holidays to all!

Much love,



Copper Diem said...

Wow! You have been a busy elf! I bookmarked that Zum site, and my MIL has been looking for natural liquid soap, so I sent the link to her too. I love cold-process soaps. And those soap beads were ADORABLE!

Genea said...

Heya Amy!

I know! OMG I am TIRED! lol. OMG you will LOVE it! Promise! It's seriously the BEST!

Thanks so much! They were so much fun to make! :D

Let me know which soaps you pick so I can be excited with you!

Pretty Things said...

I love everything! That snowflake necklace is divine, and being inspired by soaps -- too cool!

Genea said...

Thanks Lori! My friend Melissa is pretty talented! I need to get on her to get a tutorial made for the pendant :)

OMG, if you got the soaps you would totally understand! ;)I don't know if it can compare to going to the studio amongst all of the amazing people, dogs and aromatherapy awesome, but it's a close second ;)

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