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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Top Ten Tuesday
This week is my list of ten Christmas Recipes. I have decided to chose ten, and stick to it. Last year I just baked randomly, this year I plan to be more organized. So when I am done I will be going over the recipes myself to make a grocery list for Aunty Claus. Also this list should help be stick to my plan, plus how convenient it will be for me to have the recipes all together. So this list is as much for me as for others, enjoy and remember your insulin! :)

1. Sugar Cookies - recipe
It just wouldn't be Christmas without some festive sugar cookies. I like to use my Christmas cookie cutters for these or my Christmas cookie pan (which has more detail)

2. Peppermint Marshmallows - recipe
discovered these in a Betty Crocker cookbook last winter (love Betty Crocker recipes). They were a hit amoungst the kids and myself. Get good food colouring though, mine turned out purple and green last year.

3. Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes - recipe
I love red velvet cake, i made my first ones this year for ko-Ko's bday so when I saw this recipe, I knew it was making this years cut...just look at them. I hope mine look as nice when done, I will of course post when I do these.

4. Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread
Recipe: Heat oven to 325 F. grease 2 (9 inch) glass pie plates. In large bowl, beat 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 4 oz melted bittersweet chocolate, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, with electric mixer on medium until light & fluffy. On low speed, beat i 2 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup cocoa , 1/2 tsp baking powder & 1/2 cup of milk. Divide dough in half and press into pie plates evenly. Bake 22 - 24 minutes, or until edges pull away from sides of pie plates. Cool in plates. Cut each round into wedges carefully. Do not remove from pie plates. In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup icing sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa and enough milk (1 to 2 tablespoons) until glaze is smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Break up and or smash candy canes. Drizzle chocolate glaze over shortbread. Then sprinkle candy cane bits over top.

*I made a few changes this year and have edited accordingly because it is very crumbly.
**next year I think I will try 1/4 milk and 1 1/2 cups of butter. It is better but still a little crumbly

This was great, I love shortbread and going chocolate with it was wonderful.

5. Spritz Cookies (orange or eggnog) - recipe
I bought a cookie pres this year and have been experimenting with it, it is tricky to get just the right amount, anyway love these cookies and for Christmas orange and eggnog go just right. To turn this recipe to eggnog, use eggnog instead of orange juice. do not use orange zest but add in a teaspoon (or two) of nutmeg.

6. Christmas Bark - recipe
I made this last year. It is Amazing! It has everything Christmas needs, orange, crazins and pistachio! It looks and tastes festive!.

7. Cheese Filled Gingerbread Bunt Cake - recipe
I found this recipe searching the internet for a gingerbread bunt cake reciepe, and I LOVE CHEESE! So I think it will be a match made in paradise. My parents are gifting me a wreath shaped bunt pan as an early gift, so I will be using that for this treat. I can hardly wait!

8. Christmas Bread Wreath - recipe
Ready to come off that sugar high? This is my plan for Christmas morning. How will I find time you ask? Easy, I am a kid at Christmas and have not slept Christmas eve since I was a child, try as I might I just fail. So I plan to make this in the morning before DH and his twin brother take over the kitchen for supper.

9. Festive Spiced Apple Rolls - recipe
Sweet but not too sweet. I love these and they are festive. I have not made them before but remembered Grandma making them so when I found the recipe (again thanks to Betty C!) I was thrilled. I hope the kids like them as much as I do.

10. Sugar Plum Bunch Ring - recipe
My plan is too make this for Christmas Eve. Why? Cuz it's called Sugar Plum, yep that's the reason. I saw this recipe and had visions of sugar plums dance in my head. I have never known what a sugar plum was (I should google it when I am done here)but I love the poem "Twas The Night Before Christmas" so this recipe won my final spot for this years list


Last night after the kids were in bed I made my own craft. A Christmas wreath.

I pretty much copied it from here At this folksy site I just really liked it. I barely changed a thing. I used brown flannel instead of felt and my seams are on the inside. My holy berries are decorations from the dollar store. Mostly it is just my reindeer that are different. They are just 2 pieces of felt sewn together, pompom nose, mini pompom eye & fleece collar with snow flake decoration. I can't tell you how happy I am with it. Absolutely one of my favorites.

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Monday, November 29, 2010


More crafts, we are on a role.

Sunny Not has finished some of her snowman. I think she had done great for someone who didn't sew. She knows how now!

She and SW are downtown today at the large downtown library and then HS drama. Sunny Not still attends PS highshool but is allowed into this program anyway which is nice.

Meanwhile I have had a nice late morning / early afternoon sewing session with the younger ones.

Ko-Ko made candy canes. They have a weird hook to them. If we do more I will re-cut the candy canes. I didn't take into account how the seam allowance would effect the hook.

Runner made some Holly leaves. This is my favorite cams design. When I was a Child I would receive a note from Santa in my stocking every year with a holly design drawn in the corners. I am happy with how this turned out.

I made some reindeer heads. I struggled with the antlers. I am not used to feeling frustrated when it comes to sewing. I do mostly like how they loom but if anyone has seen a nice reindeer head please send me a pic or link to a pattern.

I have a few more ideas up my sleeve so there will be more yet to come. I must say I am pleased that I still have more ideas because bit Ko-Ko and I are the types who want a new project all the time. Except when we develop a favorite then we get repetitive.

I also baked up the cookies that we put into our cookie balls.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010


Super crafty day!

So after my last post the girls and my teen age niece made some of the reindeer gloves as well.

On a roll my girls then continued to work. Ko-Ko made some robins inspired by This site

Sunny Not is designing some snowman out of felt with little tops hats. She us nit yet finished but I will post her finished set when she us ready


It has been a productive morning, we have 3 Crafts done!

Reindeer Games
I made a hat for my 2 year old niece who has been fighting cancer . She had surgery a few days after her birthday a few weeks ago to remove the rest of her tumors, and her hair is just starting to come back, so I thought a warm hat was a good idea. I got the idea here. I think it turned out well. I made a few changes. For one instead of spending $10 a meter on brown fleece at the fabric store I bought a $2 brown fleece scarf from the dollar store. I doubled the fleece on the hat and made the cuff a separate piece that I did not double. Also I used googly eyes.

In other Reindeer Games
Runner made (with my assistance), a reindeer decoration out of gloves (again from the dollar store). I bought chenille ones and like the result. That idea came from this site. It takes a very minimal amount of sewing, just pulling the needle through the middle a few times and tying a knot. I didn't see any faux fur for the hair so I replaced with a fabric bow attached with a glue gun. Also I used a red pom pom for the nose and googly eyes.

Cookies Mix Christmas Balls!
We have all seen cookie mix given in mason jars with a festive touch. I didn't get the idea from any particular website or person I have seen them often in the last few years as I am sure we all have. But for a change of pace I but the mix in clear Christmas balls from Micheal's, just like my Snowman Soup Balls. (found here at Christmas Craft #6) I used the Chipits Chocolate chip recipe my dad always used except I used white chipits and crasins for a more festive look. I will be making tag with directions for adding the wet ingredients and baking. One batch made four balls, so they will be given as a set. Sunny Not helped with this one. I had a good time doing this with her as she doesn't often get into doing crafts, and misses most of them due to going to PS.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Every year the adults on DH's side draw 2 names. One for a gift and one for a stocking. This year I drew DH's youngest sister who apparently needs things for the kitchen.

I got some if these ideas online here and here.

So on the bottom we have the plain stuff, a tea towel and cutlery and some candy cane shooter glasses (she is still young and parties a bit).

Snowman poop.
Thus is a bag of marshmallows with a tag on top stating "You've been naughty so here's the scoop, all you're getting is some snowman poop"

Now for the crafty.
Jelly Rolls
These are made with brown micro fiber dish cloths and white face cloths. I rolled them together and wrapped them in cling wrap. This held them nicely together. I will make nice little tags for them.

I bought some mini sundae cups from Loblaws (this was the only thing not from the dollar store). In three of them (I saved one for my sisters gift) I rolled up tea towels, placed the mini spoof in the side and a red bath bead on top for the cherry. I also wrapped these in cling wrap.

I made one for my Sister with white angora socks and a hot pink cashmere scarf. She gave me and DH tickets to cirque de solie. I could never give her such a gift so I thought if affordable luxuries.

I do have a new craft to post but am very busy at the moment and will get to it when I can.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010


So here is Christmas craft # 6. My goal here is ten, at least.
Ko-Ko has made yet another weird face for the pic she is in, she doesn't look like that regularly.

Snowman Soup Balls: This idea is mostly my own, born of two similar ideas: 1. I saw hot chocolate in cone shaped cellophane bags done up to look like ice cream cones at Indigo and liked them. However I couldn't find the bags.
2. Back when my kids were in school they had one awesome teacher (until she retired). She had also been my brother and sisters favorite. Every year she sent home a sandwich bag of Snowman Soup.

And so my Snowman Soup Balls were born as I held onto this sweet idea and thought about replacements for the cone shaped cellophane bags. As I wondered around Micheal's today waiting for the bus I saw the clear plastic Christmas balls my sister uses to create decorations with and thought, hey I could but the Snowman Soup in those Balls!!!

So to make them we layered 3 crushed Candy Canes, a bunch of mini marshmallows and enough Carnation Hot Chocolate mix for two cups of Hot Chocolate. They recommend 3 spoons each, we always go with 4.

We put the candy canes on the bottom, then the marshmallows then hot chocolate mix. I thought we should do it this way to make it easier to pour out of the hole in the top. But I think it would look better layering it in the reverse order (hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, candy canes). And that's all it takes for Snowman Soup Balls.

  • We cut our mini marshmallows in half, they fit through the whole a little tightly & I figured would be a pain to get out, so we cut them.
  • We used a funnel to get everything into the balls without a huge mess.
  • We placed the candy canes in a ziplock sandwich bag, then we placed it inside 3 more. When you pound then to crush them you will make holes in the bag, so layering it saves candy and keeps it all tidier.
  • Leave some candy cane chunks. The powder from the candy canes isn't so colourful, the chunks will be good for appearance.
  • Pick out the chunks as they do not go through the funnel so well.
Finishing Touches.
A tag and an explanation is always a nice addition. I got a free printable tag from Creativity Portal (click to got to their site). I used this snowman one. On the inside I titled it
Soup Bal
l, did the from & to, and told them the contents would make to cups of hot chocolate.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Wow! Number five already. .

This one is my idea. Little stars strung together with beads in sets of three.

When I started I was nervous that they were maybe too little. Even a small seam allowance makes a big difference. I said nothing since I didn't want to disappoint Ko-Ko who was happily working alongside of me.

After cutting a bunch of stars (even numbers of each fabric). We placed then in sets wrong sides together. Then we sewed them leaving two sides open. We left two sides open because of how small they are. Then came the job of turning them all right side out. SW pitched in here too. As he and Ko-Ko turned the stars I picked out the points gently with a pin.

At this point I was more concerned. They looked odd, deformed and really, really small. Again I kept it to myself. I wondered if they should be ironed but couldn't see how without burning all my fingers.

Next we stuffed the little stars pushing stuffing into each corner. Finally they looked like stars:) I pinned all the hems as this was Very tricky, there was so little to work with.

Then we arranged them in sets of three. To stitch them up we used the braided stitch we use when sewing moccasins together. Any whip stitch or blanket stitch would work. I wanted to use one Ko-Ko was most familiar with. As we closed each star we attached it to the next with three colored pony beads. We did part if this last night and the rest this afternoon.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


This is inspired From Sunday's Full Moon Ceremony. Grandma Claus (my mom in law) is a Mohawk Grandmother in our community. She runs some ceremonies at our house, mostly the Full Moon ones. There is much she can't get done and so I make sure we are ready to go as the sun sets.

1. Our Elders, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Aunties, Uncles, Sweat Lodge leaders etc are not ordained, not recognized officially by the government and therefore con noy marry us or bury us.

2. We cannot legally hold a ceremony within city limits. We do but since they include a small ceremonial fire (small, little more then burning embers) we risk being fined. Our fires are not Bon fires, they are manned by a trained fire keeper and I have seen BBQ's with more flame. There is no concession made for us.

3. We do not have religious buildings. Where our places of prayer is, are the yards, lodges and homes of those trained to lead them. Their is no tax exemption like for other religious groups. I know people think we don't pay taxes, but we only don't pay tax on our rez's as they are our land. So for the many of us off rez, this is the case.

4. Being at home means cleaning up. In often large families this means a lot of cleaning up. I could do this in the days a head but it would be pointless. So we all clean up the day of.

5. Although many places of business in Canada respect religious freedoms and so make sure Christians get 4 hours a week to attend church, and the Muslims get 15-20 minutes at their regular intervals through out the day and that Catholics get to mass and confession and that Jews have four hours weekly for Synagogue, we are not recognized in the same way.
Grandma Claus uses her sick days to conduct ceremony in our community. Imagine if your Pastor was not given Sunday to preach to the masses? My work chooses to give me time off cuz my sis is the GM. Most are not so lucky. I worked Out that other religions get about 8 hours off a month for religious reasons so that is what Grandma and Aunty are currently fighting for. It is falling on deaf ears and legal help will be the next step.

6. Food is big!! Every ceremony has food. Even fast as it will end with a feast. So we are very skilled at potluck. If potluck were an Olympic event us Skins would take gold every time. As host we must provide the backbone. This is easy at Full Moon as the potluck starts between 10pm and midnight, a good cake is great. Of course since it starts supper-ish I must be prepared to feed anyone who comes early. This can entail feeding 15-20 people (we are a family of 9 after all). And feeding them after a day of baking and cleaning. I usually go with KFC or pizza. I'd be a shamed host if I lacked enough food or tea.

7. We do not get paid or request money. If this happens then you are in the hands of a fake. Since hosting can get costly, (food, supplies, gas for picking up those who need help and possible fines) it cab be difficult. Not to mention feeding the unexpected guests looking for the wise advice of a Grandmother. Like I said we are not ordained or recognized so we most work at a mainstream job as well (hence Grandma's difficulty getting time off). So how do They do it? How does one show thanks? Bring food, firewood, water or strawberries as these are needed for every ceremony. Bring a gift for the one leading the ceremony. Take your turn and help mind the babies.

8. Children under 4 are in the baby stage of life. They are not removed, shushed or kept away. Let them be, let them run, play and ask questions...unless they are about to end up in the fire.

9. When you hear the fire trucks in the distance. Make sure your gate is closed blocking the view of the fire. Have Dh at the BBQ (always a good cover for the nosy person who thought they smelled smoke). Stay calm so the kids are not worried. And when they pass by laugh. When your choices are laugh or cry it is always best to do both.

10: give thanks that your neighbors are WAY more tolerant then the government and always remember to be thankful of their understanding of our situation. Hopefully our neighbors will one day change the currant situation so that we may also enjoy religious freedom.

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Patchwork Santa

I got this idea while looking at this. It is a wooden project but I liked the shape, and so was inspired by it and my patchwork trees.

I made cardboard patterns the day I did craft #1. The triangle is both the pattern piece for the trees and these Santas. It is the background (generally red) and the back ( so you need 2). The smallest piece is the face. The colour should be determined by your family (in my opinion). y kids beleive he is Native, becausethey are, and Grandma Clause is, which is how we are related. I think most kids see Santa in their image. The medium sized piece is white, it is his beard and fur of his hat.

Place the white piece ontop of the red. The upper sides should match and the beard should reach the bottom of the red

Net place the face on top of the white so the sides match up. Draw on eyes. eyebrows and nose. I used a permanent marker.

Pin the three layers together. Using a zigzag stitch applique the pieces together. I started with the face to anchor it. Then sew on hat trim.

Place the second triangle ontop of the Santa (right sides together) sew two sides, leaving bottom open. Turn right side out, stuff, sew bottom shut and sew along applique lines, making the piece quilted.

Last hot glue on a pompom. And as simple as that you are done. I also sewed some more birds and trees this evening after the kids went to bed.