Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Star(fish) Ornaments


 My house Santa's Workshop has been bustling over the last week. I've enlisted my favorite little elf to help gather things from around the house and repurpose them. Ornament-making never seemed like so much fun, now its all I want to do! Of course, none of this would be complete without hot cocoa and festive tunes. I'm a total Christmas junkie!

Following my popular Cinnamon Stick ornament (thank you Pinterest fans!!), I came up with a few things in between, which I will also post over the next days. 
Today I'm featuring a little "sweater" for our very summery and very beachy starfish. That's right. We live absolutely no where near a beach, but I have a jar full of these little guys and gals. Stars go so well with Christmas, so I wanted to integrate a fun and wintery way to display these gems. 

There's something about fuzzy wool, especially in muted wintery colors. Ahhh.... and today its snowing in our part of the world, so the picture couldn't be more complete! Except having a pair of super plush and cozy woolen socks  -- Santa, are you listening? 

Okay, now down to business. 

  • Starfish 
  • Wool 

(that's it!)

Start with your first 'leg'. Create a loop at the top and begin wrapping.

That loop will help the ornament hang.

Continue to wrap around each one until its covered.

Once its wrapped, cut the yarn in the back and secure it around itself.

Get creative and do different colors and textures and cater it to the person you want to give it to...

Certainly these aren't just limited to hanging on a tree. You can put them anywhere for a quirky and festive look!

Happy little dapper starfish.... 

This elf is signing off for now... time to leave my post and make a snowman outside! 

I'd love to know what you think of this creation and how you personalize your own!!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

No Knead Artisan Bread

I stumbled upon this recipe a couple years ago and it is AHHHHHHMAZING! 

Seriously, every time I make it my husband falls in love with me all over again. Its so easy to put together and the end result is a perfect bubble of dough. Everyone I've made this for has raved about it and my latest 'rave' prompted me to get this out to y'all, so without further adieu here it is.


3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Cups Warm Water 
1 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
2 tsp. salt

That's it!
No over-mixing, kneading or stand-mixers at this party.

Now, the key is having the dough rise overnight. You need to let this sit for roughly 
12 - 18 hours. I set everything up the night before and add the ingredients into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place. That's usually my oven and there's a sleepover where the yeast, dough and water are all doing a happy dance while we sleep. When we awake, there's nothing but pure love inside that bowl.  

Key player

My thermometer is how I get the exact temp needed (110)

Major shaggy dough!

Once time has lapsed, you can start to get everything ready. I start by getting my enamel pot (thank you Bridal Registry!) and pre-heating my oven to 450 degrees. Super hot, I know, but this is key.

Work the dough onto a flat surface and let it rise while you get the oven going. *You will want to immerse your hands in lots of flour to pick the dough up since its very sticky. Once its out, let it sit on the counter or wherever, just be prepared for it to start spreading a little bit. So give yourself some room.

When your oven hits 450 degrees, place the empty pot in there -- no lid, no dough. You want to heat up the pot for a good twenty minutes before putting the dough in there. 

Once that's ready, flour your hands up yet again and pick up the dough from your surface. Shape it into a ball so its nice and pretty, it should be relatively workable and springy. Before placing into the oven, I usually make a cross at the top just so it comes out looking even more dapper and "artisan-y". 

Put it into the pot and let it bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. Once the time is up, you want to remove the lid and bake it for an additional 15 minutes. This will create its beautiful golden color and make it super duper crispy on the outside (and gooey on the inside!)

Final result? That ahhhhmazing slab of bread I mentioned earlier. It really is extraordinary and so low maintenance! You just need time to prepare it the night before, but the rewards are great the next day. This is one of the reasons we don't eat this every night! Usually I'm too wiped out once the kids are asleep that I never get around to preparing it. However, when I make the effort, it is well worth it. 

This is a picture my friend snapped of their bread, which was totally devoured!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cinnamon Stick Ornament

I was in my kitchen the other day with a container of cinnamon sticks tucked away in our dilapidated lazy susan (one day I will write about that) and thought, hey, I can make something out of these guys. Lo and behold, I did.


There's something about cinnamon sticks that are just so darn cute! They smell incredible, especially this festive time of year, and have those little curls on either end that would rival Cindy Lou Who's coif. Like snowflakes, each one is different from the next.. okay, not dramatically so, but still. 

I started to piece together cinnamon sticks in a tree-like pattern, topping it off with none other than star anise. Of course!! No cinnamon Christmas tree would be complete with out one. But wait, there's more. All Spice decided to make an entrance not too far into this crafting project and wedged themselves right into the nooks of the "tree". It was coming together rather nicely, like a Bob Ross painting, minus happy clouds, but this was certainly a happy tree.  

The tree stump is made from a fallen-apart cinnamon stick and I turned it backwards. No tree would be complete without garland or some sort of string adorning it. So, I tried this one on for size. It was actually pretty nice. All it needed were glimmering lights strung from top to bottom and I do believe it would've been a sight to see. 

Want to try your hand at it? Here's what you need:
  • Cinnamon Sticks, cut into various sizes. 
  • Star Anise
  • String/Ribbon
  • All Spice (optional)
  • Glue Gun

Begin by piecing the tree together. I even took separate pieces to make one long piece of the tree. Once everything is in place, glue away. 

 Feel free to get fancy and whip out the glitter. I'm sure that would look awesome on the star itself! In these parts, glitter is a little dangerous since it never actually leaves the surfaces of our house... including my baby boy's face. 

Have fun stringing along the fun!!!