Sunday, December 20, 2015

Handmade Ornament Swap

Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since I last posted.  I've been busy and have been making things, but I guess photos and posting really got away from me.

Hopefully, I'll get the energy over Christmas to break out the camera again and show you what I've been up to.

But that's not what this post is about.

I joined a handmade ornament swap hosted by Karen Williams and was partnered with Judy Jacobs.  After I looked at Judy's website, I was a bit intimidated, to say the least.  Look at all her gorgeous paintings.  Seriously, they are fabulous.  And she's a glass artist also?

Luckily, Judy is very sweet and insisted she would love anything beady I might send.

I ended up making two ornaments for Judy, but before I show you what I sent, I would like to show you the wonderful ornament Judy gifted to me.

How gorgeous is that?  Judy made the beads dangling and the rest, she said, is fused.

The colors are gorgeous and so bright and cheery.  Here's a close up of Judy's beads.

My daughter helped me open the package.  Before I could do or say anything, the ornament was on the tree, very high up, where all her favorite ornaments hang.

We'll keep it in the office after Christmas, so we can enjoy it all year round.

Judy also sent a mini painting of a seascape that will reside on my desk so I can watch the waves every day.  :)

Now, on to what I sent Judy.

I knew I wanted to make a beaded ornament, but couldn't decide on a design.  After a a bit of back and forth, I decided on this pattern by threadabead.  I liked the simplicity of the design and I loved that it was double sided.

The front:

and the back:

This was fun to make and I loved how it came together.

I also sent this chain maille ornament, the maillers choice for December from Blue Buddha Boutique. :

I really like the rubber rings in this.  (I liked it so much, I made a ton of ornaments and a pair of earrings that the kiddo immediately claimed as her own.)

Please check Judy's blog to see her entry.

If you want to see what the others made, check out Karen's blog.  She will have links to those participants with blogs and entries for those participants who don't have blogs.

Karen, thank you for hosting.  It's such a wonderful idea!

Judy, the ornament is beautiful!  Thank you so much!  It was so nice getting to know you!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Brand New Year

My husband and I were talking to the kiddo last night about the "new year" and the symbolism behind it.  Many people look to the new year as a fresh start and resolve to do many things in the coming year.

I'm still thinking about how I want to approach this year and what I'd like to focus on.

I do know that I've neglected my blog and my blogging friends.  I didn't carve out the time to post to my blog or comment on other blogs as I might have liked.

I was thinking about this as I was making cookies for the kiddo this morning and I thought maybe some of you might like the recipe, even if it flies in the face of so many new year's resolutions.

I found this recipe over a decade ago on all recipes and it's still a favorite.  I warn you, though, it's not for the faint of heart.  You *must* like ...  love ...  adore chocolate and peanut butter.  You cannot shy away from sweets.  Finally, you must have the patience to wait 12 minutes for them to bake.

So, it's a chocolate peanut butter cookie chock full of peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and Reese's peanut butter cups.

Can you see those peanut butter cups?  Yummy!

Here they are ready to go into the oven.  These do not spread much (probably because there are more chips and cups than dough), so I don't worry about spacing them out too much on the cookie sheet.

And here they are freshly baked.

Peanut buttery goodness!

Have a happy new year!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (taken from this recipe by Joanna Knudsen)

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter *
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 and 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 bag mixed peanut butter and milk chocolate chips **
Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped ***

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and peanut butter with white sugar and brown sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.

Stir together the cocoa powder, flour and baking soda.  Add to the butter mixture.  Stir in the chips and peanut butter cups.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.


* I usually use creamy, but sometimes, if I am feeling wild, I'll use chunky peanut butter

** I was so excited to see this was actually a thing.  You can buy a bag of peanut butter chips and a bag of chocolate chips and use half a bag of each.

***  The original recipe calls for 10 cups, but I usually use way more than that.  This morning, I used 20 snack size cups.  Basically, if you think you have enough, double it.