A Very Crafty Christmas

A very belated story….

This past Christmas was very different for me. Typically, I make about 70% of my gifts, along with Christmas cards and cookies. This time around, work took up most of my holiday, so I didn’t get to make much of anything handmade.

But my trip home to Ohio made up for that. Here’s a brief tour of the crafts.

First, Barley the sheep made a quick pit stop to visit friends.

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At my mom’s this year, we decided to skip the big expensive gifts and do a $2 gift exchange. The rules were that you could use any items in your home, but the entire purchased value could only be $2. This was the only gift I actually got to make this year. I made orange and lemon extract – my sister is a baker.


1 airplane bottle of vodka
2 – 3 oranges or lemons.

Grab a mason jar, peel the outer layer of your cleaned fruit and dump it in. Pour in the vodka so all the peels are covered. Screw on the lid and let it sit for 4 weeks.

Pour the extract back into the airplane bottle and garnish with as many peels as would fit.



While at my dad’s house, I hung out with my other sister, her new baby and my mum and we made about 6 different types of Christmas Cookies! Including Chocolate with Peanut butter M&Ms. yummy! Brian was on baby duty while we baked.

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Christmas morning, I finished my commuter socks…even though I wasn’t on a train. 90% of the socks were knitted on my daily commute to work.

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I went to visit my friend Christine. We aren’t the type to just go sit at a drinkin’ bar. Instead, we sat at her kitchen bar and made chapstick and lye-based soap! The chapstick was based from beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter. We made two flavors: “Orange & Vanilla Bean” and “Peppermint!” I brought the base home and packaged it into tubes.

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Making the soap on the other hand, was like being in an episode of “Breaking Bad.” We had our goggles and gloves on while handling the lye outside. Once that was complete, we mixed it with the rest of our ingredients inside in a crockpot. It was an olive oil based soap so it came out with a pretty brown color. The plan was to use it as a soap base back home, where I could then scent and shape it.

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Back at home, I worked with the soap base for an hour and never got it to melt back down. Such a weird site to see. It never liquified and would only turn into a porridge substance. However, my other soaps came out very pretty!

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Chris and I then played with her new toy, a die cutting machine, the “Silhouette Cameo.” Chris made me some fancy new gift tags for my Etsy shop, Coffee & T.

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I ended the week with a “Cheers!” My friends Amy and Mike stopped by. My mom, her husband, Amy, Mike and I all made juice glasses from recycled beer bottles. I also made a vase. I can’t ever keep things simple…

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We used a bottle cutter to cut the tops off. Then we sanded…..

We sanded for at least 3 hours. I don’t suggest this craft for a rainy day unless you know a way to wet sand (so glass doesn’t break off everywhere) with a machine! Hand sanding that long…..well, it’s rough.

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But they turned out cute!

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Christmas Sweater Cookie Massacre

Once we got home, I decided to extend Christmas one more week. We made Ugly Christmas Sweater cookies!

Sound cute? Right. But I screwed up the red frosting, so they all looked like they were bleeding out… Well, you grow by screwing up.

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Having such a crafty holiday with my family and friends really made for a nice trip home. I would have wrote about it sooner…but work calls.