You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2008.

The amazing blog Grosgrain is having another giveaway that would be such fun to win. This party frock would be perfect for Eleanor’s upcoming birthday.


I started this post the other day and ended up getting so frustrated trying to make a Flickr badge I stopped working on it.  I still haven’t figured out what was going on with the badge, but I figure I might as well get this post up. If anyone has suggestions for posting a badge in WordPress let me know.  Good thing this is just a hobby, otherwise I would have been at wits end.  Anyway, for now you will have to click over to the cygnetsmall Flickr feed if you want to see the ornaments, until I can figure out what I am doing — at which time I’ll put up the darn badge!

I was reading a post about handmade ornaments at Just Tutes and it gave me the idea to document a few of the handmade ornaments on our own tree.  I love our tree, it always looks colorful and homey.  The ornaments I particularly treasure are the ones that friends and family have made for us.  Last year, I made a star to top our tree but this is the only ornament I have made for our own family.  However, I took a few pictures of a few other beauties made by creative family members.  Some require quite a bit of technical skill (the tatted snowflakes) and some would be easy enough for my daughter to make (the beaded candy cane) but all of them are well loved and carefully placed each year on our little tree. It makes me think that often the best gifts are not the biggest or most expensive, but the ones made with purpose and love.


I made a couple of bibs from Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing last night.  The bibs are such a nice instant gratification project.  The only problem I have is putting on the snaps.  I don’t know what my deal is but I always seem to put the female side of the snap on upside down.  It took me 4 tries on the first bib!  Needless to say, I have lots of spare male snap parts. I added some little heart appliques on the front of the bibs, because I thought it would be cute.  The fabric is from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (which I have not visited but would LOVE to) and the prints are a part of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Fabric Line. I love kids books so much, when I saw the fabric I knew I wanted to make something with it — I just wasn’t sure what.  So here is my first Hungry Caterpillar project — appropriate that I made bibs?  I hadn’t thought of it until just this moment, but I guess it is.

I got the idea for these lovely leaf lanterns from a post at Salt and Chocolate. Thursday morning my little girl and I made these with old enchilada sauce jars, Mod Podge, white tissue paper, and the pressed leaves we already had from another project. They were beautiful on our Thanksgiving table and we sent them home with Mu, so she could enjoy them and think of us.

Candle Holders

Today (obviously) isn’t Thanksgiving Day, but I figure I am still thankful so this post is not too late.  We had a delicious meal with family and it was a lovely way to spend the holiday.  I thought I’d share a couple of the recipes I made.

A couple of days before Thanksgiving I made this delicious Banana Pumpkin Bread from Rebecca Scritchfield’s Balanced Health and Nutrition.  I made fresh pumpkin puree and used about two cups instead of using a can.  I also added a pinch of cloves and a pinch of black pepper.  It took a bit longer to bake than I expected but it was worth the wait.  Yum.

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Then, for the big day, I made an apple pie.  I am not much of a pumpkin pie fan, which I realize many people would think is crazy, but if I am making it, I prefer apple.  I used Nittany and Macintosh apples and it was pretty darn good.  Here is the recipe:

Pie crust (I used Betty Crocker’s boxed crust, it is easy and tastes good)
7 apples (4 Macintosh, 3 Nittany), peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp (or so) butter
2 Tbsp flour (I used Sir Arthur’s white whole wheat)
1/4 cup (or so) sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch cloves
pinch nutmeg

Put the bottom pie crust in the tin. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Pour mixture over the apples and stir gently until coated. Pour apples into pie tin. Slice butter into small pats and place on top of the apples. Put the top layer of crust on and cut a few holes (I made little hearts) for ventilation. Cook for ten minutes at 400 and then turn down to 350 for another 30-40 minutes until the crust is nice and golden brown. Enjoy.

Apple Pie