Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What I Did on My Christmas Vacation

I didn't knit for anyone this Christmas except myself, and as none of that has pictures yet I won't bore you with it.  I did put a few more rows on Silas' Moderne, and toyed with the idea of picking out colors to make one for Ezra (grey, green, charcoal, and white?), but I don't expect either to come to fruition this year, or even next.

I did however make some gifts.  I made a whole bunch of ornaments, a few of which you can see here:

The snowmen come from this recipe for a cornstarch/baking soda dough.  It makes for a lovely, smooth, very white ornament (provided you don't over-toast them . . . ) that almost feels like porcelain.  The black details are Sharpie, and the scarves are glitter glue.  Thank goodness for glitter glue.  Remember the dark ages of drawing your designs with white glue, and then shaking loose glitter over it, oh so delicately pressing the glitter into the glue, shaking the excess off, getting glitter everywhere except where you really wanted it?  Don't get me wrong, that still sounds like fun.

I used the same cornstarch dough to make two of these;

Terribly rough, but the grandparents were enchanted.  I wish I had made impressions of Silas' newborn sized feet, but I remember at the time being way too exhausted to attempt any such thing.  Having done it with Ezra, I can attest that it's almost not worth it, trying to wrestle a newborn into making a good impression.

I tried using salt dough and mitten templates to make ornaments of Silas' handprints this year, but it was a lost cause - it is perhaps unsurprisingly more difficult to get a squirmy two-year-old to make a good handprint than trying to get those feetprints from the infant.

For the cinnamon ornaments, I combined a few different recipes and came up with:

1/2 c. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. applesauce
2 Tbsp. white glue
2 Tbsp. loose glitter
1 Tbsp. cloves
1 tsp. mace (because I couldn't find nutmeg - if you use nutmeg, use a tablespoon)

Mix it all together, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow to sit for an hour on the countertop, knead it a few times on a cinnamon dusted surface, roll it out under a sheet of waxed paper to 1/4", and go crazy with the cookie cutters.  I misjudged my thickness and many of the ornaments were only 1/8" thick; much curling and fragility were the result.  Make holes in the tops with toothpicks or a drinking straw, and bake on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 2 hours or until dry, flipping the ornaments halfway through.  Transfer to a I used a silver Sharpie decorate the gingerbread men, and more glitter glue on the one little round ornament.  I was tempted to decorate the rest as well, but I really liked the way they looked plain, so I held back.  Next year I may make more, and then the glue may run a little more freely (especially if Silas helps).

I hope you all had very merry holidays!

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