I decided that for my in-laws this year, I was making homemade presents. At first, I thought I would do breakfast basket. Get gourmet pancake mixes, syrups, cocoas and coffees. Once I priced that all out, I realized I could get them that or a piece of Tiffany’s jewelry! I then decided on apple pie. Why? It’s delicious, All – American and it didn’t sound too hard. I decided I would can apple pie filling and package it with a pie plate, a pie server, and some other brilliant pie serving accessories. I even went to the local ceramics studio and painted coordinating plates.
I borrowed all of the canning gear from a co-worker who assured me it is simple! I read over the directions that came with my jars (P.S.- Wal-mart as an entire canning aisle!) and went about canning. I peeled, sliced and cored 6 lbs of apples. I followed the directions for the liquid. So far, so good! I then attempted to lift the giant canning pot, which was filled with water from the sink to the stove. OMG! I need to up my gym time, apparently. Once I did that (and only spilled half the water!), I loaded the jars in the pot to sterilized. Since science isn’t my strong suit, I completely forgot that the jars would displace some water and overflow onto the stove top. Ugh! Clean up time! I finally got the right amount of water and boiled the jars away. Lifting the jars out of the pot once they were filled with boiling water was comical. Just a side note- wear shoes. My poor toes had a ton of boiling water dropped on them. I placed the apple pie filling in the jars and put them back on the rack. I lowered the jars into the pan and watched with HORROR as one floated. FLOATED?!?! I panicked and called my friend Jen, who assured me that filled jars cannot float. I watched my rogue jar bob away in the rolling boil. Oh well, that one bit the dust. After the jars were processed, they seem air tight. I made a pie using the filling for us (nothing like a test run for botulism!) on Saturday and we are all still intact.
I hope that my in-laws appreciate their gifts. Literally- burns, sweat and tears went into them!
I will post pictures once I get the plates from the ceramic studio and the gifts are all packaged.!
Eek! I’m so far behind with posting my Christmas Crafts! This weekend was crazy! On Saturday, we spent the day decorating. We went and cut down the tree at the tree farm up the road. I take this picture every year, and I’m sure Shane secretly loves it!
We hung the outside lights, which turned into Shane cleaning out the gutters. I got the bright idea to move the trellis that we got married under to the front yard. I had visions of it spanning the front walkway into our home. The whole thought of walking under the place we got married each time we entered our home was appealing to me. Unfortunately, I should have measured my vision before we (yes, “we”- I helped!) moved the mammoth creation from the backyard to the front. It’s way too big for our walkway. In defeat, we plopped it in the middle of the yard, awaiting relocation.
On Sunday, we took Caileigh on the Polar Express train ride. I have an absolute obsession with the Polar Express. It comes from elementary school when our principal use to play it over the PA system on the last day of school before Christmas. The book is absolutely magical.
So after all of that, here are the 5 crafts I owe you!
# 2: Christmas Card Display board! I made this with an unfinished frame from Michaels, so Christmas scrapbook paper and some knobs we have around. I modeled it after this Creative Memories frame.
#3: Christmas Card Display Frame ! Another unfinished frame from Michaels. I got it on clearance awhile ago. I painted it with chalkboard paint and used chickenwire in the opening. The seasonal greetings can be erased and I can reuse it for birthdays!
#4: My ugly flowerpot tree that I secretly love!!
#5: Placemat Pillow: I got these placements a couple years ago and used them on our pub table that only had two chairs. That table is now gone and I searched high and low for more of these placemats. I couldn’t find anymore, but couldn’t bear the thought of these adorable rustic snowman not coming out for Christmas. I had some scrap material and sewed (BY HAND! My machine is caput!) them into a pillow. Cute, huh?
#6: I made this garland last year. I just got out holiday shapes and embellished them with buttons that my grandma had given me in the past.
As I am posting this, I am realizing that having 25 crafts (19 more!) by Christmas is going to be rough! I may expand and count some of my culinary adventures as crafts.. or have some guest posters… or take a day off work to craft!?!?!? Or maybe have an unexpected snowday to sit in my little room and create. ( I live for snowdays!)
I know, it's not very "Christmas-y", but I've been seeing these all blogland and I love it. I got an unfinished wood frame and painted it brown. Then I cut out some flowers from some scrapbook paper and modpodged them on. I compiled a list of "rules" for our family. I used a piece of twine to hang it by.
I hung it by our front door... Let me know what you think!