get it? block bag

I made a simple drawstring bag for the blocks we got for the babe's birthday. I had what I thought was the perfect fabric on hand...

And some little hot wheels will be making their home in this bag (truck definitely not to scale)

I'm not sure I have a fabric for every toy, but I sure like it when it works out.


mrs claus never gets coal

I needed one more stocking to round out our set of three. Here's the one I made last year, and here's the one I made from a hideous sweater at the thrift store. It was just begging to be made into something new...

This one's for me. Doesn't it look like a stocking that Santa would fill for his wifey? Just call me Mrs. Claus.

But now I think the striped one from last year is kind of a weak link in our set, so I've decided it'll just be Jeff's interim stocking until I find the time to make another one. For sure before next Christmas, okay hon?

How could it possibly take a person three years to finish a set of three stockings when one is already store-bought? Ah, but a clue!



You don't have to look far in blogland before finding some pretty darn cool handmade ornaments. I especially like this felt bird and this cool felt ogee number. Oh gee, I wish I had some felt.


on the list

Between hitting the nog, I want to to make this chili and its scrumptious-looking biscuits. Who thought to put the biscuits on the chili? Genius.

And while I'm wishing I had more time...

how about this darling quilt? think of the advent calendar possibilities
these little fortunes for New Years Eve
honk if you love cardamom and pulla as much as I do
keep meaning to make my own yogurt -- 2011 will be the year
wish I still had photoshop, I'd be making calendars with this cute template
my hot chocolate needs a gingerbread house its own size


make a four, make a knot

Will you be my friend? What if I sweeten the deal with a strip of candy?

I re-learned how to make these from YouTube, and my hands remembered the movements just as soon as I started. Oh man, I made a ton of these back in the day. This one is for a sweet young thing in Michigan -- shhhhhhh.


the moon looks like a shortbread cookie

I'll be up late. I'm making the crowd-pleasing lemon shortbread cookies for tomorrow's party.

I made them before with poppy seeds, but this time I had to forgo the little guys. Did you know poppy seeds go rancid? A quick google search informs me that poppy seeds, in fact, go bad very quickly. Oh well.

I mean, I'll miss their aesthetic appeal, but who can taste a poppy seed anyway?


roasted eggplant pasta

This recipe requires just a bit of planning ahead -- you need to roast the whole eggplant for an hour before getting the rest of dinner underway. But your efforts pay off with an eggplant that's buttery sweet and a great foundation for your pasta.

roasted eggplant pasta
serves 4

1 large Italian eggplant
olive oil
1/4 onion, finely minced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teas dried red pepper flakes
1 can/jar tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped (reserve a bit of the liquid)
herbs and spices: oregano, basil, parsley, dried or fresh, your choice
fresh parmesan cheese
cayenne pepper
dried pasta for 4

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash eggplant and prick with a fork in several places. Place whole on parchement-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until skin darkens and caves to the touch (so you know the insides are mushy.) Remove from oven and let cool just a bit. To prepare for cooking, cut off the top and roughly chop the body into 1-2" pieces.

In saucepan over medium heat, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and saute for a few minutes, until onions are soft. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 30 seconds more. Add prepared eggplant and drained tomatoes. Season with salt, stir in any dried herbs, and bring to a simmer. You may want to add a little of the drained tomato liquid for desired consistency. At the end of cooking, before serving, stir through fresh chopped herbs.

Meanwhile, prepare pasta al dente and drain. Combine pasta and sauce and divide among serving dishes. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a dash of cayenne pepper.


up do

No crafts or holiday baking for you today. Today we talk hair. Specifically, ponytails.

Ponytails are the only 'do' I do these days. When I stumbled upon these simple tips on how to keep a ponytail from looking like you just got out of the shower and pulled it back (when in fact that's just what I did), I felt like the cosmos had given me a little nudge.

Thanks, cosmos.



Anyone who was reading this blog last year (thank you, so glad you're here!), knows I like advent calendars.

I don't have the one of my dreams yet, but that's mainly because my dreams keep changing. Each year, I'm swayed by other beautiful options like these, and well, I just plain can't decide.

But for someone who loves advent calendars to not have any... well, that seems a bit strange to me too. So now we have a calendar to tide us over until the next -- a wee box calendar from a kit found at the art store and bits of paper I had on hand.

Now I can relax, grab a cup of tea, and continue to hem and haw over my creative options.