Here we are again on yet ANOTHER amazing FREAKY Blog Tour. Thanks for joining us! This month we are focusing on things that you can give to your friends and neighbors ... you KNOW the ones I mean ... the ones who would never even THINK about throwing out or parting with a SINGLE thing that was handmade just for them!! Soooooo....without further adieu, here is what I have come up with ...
First off, I decided to FINALLY make this "Believe" framed art gift. I swear, I have been thinking about doing this FOREVER (like, maybe SIX years!). This month's Blog Tour finally pushed me over the edge (and I'm glad, 'cause I am giving this baby as a gift to ME!! Is that bad???). It really was not all that difficult to make, and it was pretty darn fun t'boot!!
Here is a close up of a few of the letters. I wanted you to be able to see the BEAUTIMOUS Bridesmaid DSP up close and personal.
Stamps: Lovely Letters, Baroque Motifs
Ink: Gold Encore, Old Olive, Real Red
Paper: Bridesmaid DSP, Very Vanilla, Brushed Gold, Old Olive, Real Red
Accessories: Movers & Shapers Holiday Windows Bigz Die, 1 3/8" and 1 1/4" circle punches, 5/8" Old Olive grosgrain ribbon, 5/8" Real Red grosgrain ribbon, gold cord, gold brads, gold embossing powder, pop-up glue dots, frame
For my next project, I make this SPARKALICIOUS snowflake earrings utilizing some shrink plastic, our FABOO Snowflake #2 die, AND some Versamark and Iridescent Ice embossing powder.
And I ALSO enlisted the help of my darling daughter, Vanna (also known in the real world as Amelia - thanks, cutie!) to help me in showing off how fun and fancy these earrings can be. What girl doesn't love a little BLING in her life, especially at this time of year??
Accessories: Snowflake #2 Bigz Die, Iridescent Ice embossing powder, clear ice rhinestone brads, shrink plastic, earring findings, glue dots
At last, but certainly not LEAST, I quickly threw together this little gift bag that would be the PERFECT gift for your neighbors. Not that the bag is all that spectacular, mind you, but what I am about to reveal IS super fantastically SPECTACULAR. I have become somewhat of a legend in my neighborhood for the cookies that I give out to my friends every year ... they are called Lucky Pennies and they are absolutely DELISH!! I have been threatened many-a-year by my girlfriends that if I DON'T bring some of these cookies by they will be EXTREMELY put out. Many of them have actually admitted to HOARDING them all to themselves and NOT sharing them with ANYONE! My dad actually told me last year that they were his MOST favorite Christmas goodie (and coming from him, that was high praise, considering he LOVED goodies ... which is very bittersweet for me this year, as we lost Dad on May 30. These cookies will FOREVER put a smile on my face because of this sweet memory).
Stamps: Sweet Season
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Real Red, Very Vanilla
Accessories: Top Note Bigz Die, Petals a Plenty embossing folder, scallop border die, slot punch, 1/4" Very Vanilla grosgrain ribbon, cello bag
Sooo....if I share this recipe with you, you have to SWEAR not to tell ANYONE I gave away my mostest secret recipe, OK?? AND you have to promise to make at least ONE batch of them this year (I should mention here that the cookies in the picture are NOT my famous Lucky Pennies, but a poor grocery-store substitute). Ran out of time to make the REAL McCoy, but if you wanna see the real deal, check out this blog post I did about them LAST December. We make over 1,000 of these cookies every year for neighbor gifts. I have lived in this neighborhood for nearly 25 years, so my list is kinda BIG!! Here is the recipe (which, I have to admit, I shared LAST year!). ENJOY!!
2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. salt
3/4 C. (1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened)
1 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1 large egg
granulated sugar (for coating cookies)
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In a separate large bowl, use a wooden spoon to cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and egg and mix until well blended. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate it for at least 1 to 2 hours or until firm enough to roll into balls.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Use a teaspoon to scoop the dough out of the bowl, then roll it with your fingertips into balls that are about one-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in a shallow bowl of granulated sugar. Place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between the cookies. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes or until the cookies are crinkled and set.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the dough is used. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month and at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Special note: This is a recipe that does NOT double/triple very well. If you want to make LOTS of them, you should make a separate batch of dough each time.
NOW, head on over to the super INCREDIBLE Cindy Majors' blog to see what she has cooked up for the ones you love for Christmas!!