Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A-lure-ing Table Setting

Last weekend we celebrated my grandfather's 80th birthday.  You know it's always so hard to decorate for guys without being too cutesy.  So we created place settings using fishing lure and twine as napkin rings, which we tied around green dishtowels (just watch out for the hook!)

The dishtowels were the party favors for the girls, and the fishing lure were the party favors for the boys - so per couple the guy got two lures and the girl got two towels. 

 Simple, cute, and you get favors and napkin rings.

Hope you're having a great day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Candied Citrus Peel

I come from a Florida family.  Both of my parents grew up in Florida and most of their grandparents did too.  So needless to say, we love citrus.  I have many memories of my great-grandmother and my Grandma making delicious ambrosia during the holidays, then they would take the citrus peel and make candy!  Well I'd never made it before, but last week I was feeling adventurous and so I made some!  It turned out really well and was so tasty.

 I promise you the orange ones tasted exactly like those sugary orange slices you can buy - only these are way better...(I won't necessarily say better for you...'cause we're still talking about candy here).  I seriously encourage you to give this a try - it's not hard to make, there are just several steps - but hey - put on your favorite Christmas movie and start peeling!

Candied Citrus Peel
(adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
3 oranges, 2 lemons, 1 grapefruit
4 cups of sugar, plus more for rolling
water/paring knife/paper towel

Step 1:  Peel the fruit.  Make slits in the peel with your knife - cut from top to bottom cutting through the peel but not the fruit.  It takes about 6 cuts per fruit.  Then use your fingers and gently pull the peel away from the fruit.
Step 2:  Remove the pith.  This step is a pain, but it makes the difference between sweet candy and bitter peel rolled in sugar.  Use a paring knife to peel off the white pith that lines the peel - just do the best you can, but the more you take off the less bitter your candy will be.
Step 3:  Put the peels in a large saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring it to a boil, then drain the water.  Repeat this two more times, using cold water each time.  After you drain it the last time, put the peels in a bowl.
Step 4:  Put the 4 cups of sugar into the saucepan along with 4 cups of water.  Bring this to a boil then put the peel in and reduce to medium low - so that it is simmering nicely.  Let it simmer for about an hour or until the peels look transluscent.
**Bonus - this also makes your house smell amazing**
Step 5:  Let the peels cool in the syrup - usually takes about 1 1/2 hrs.  Put a piece of parchment paper down, and then set a cooling rack on top.  Ladle the peels out with a slotted spoon onto the rack - letting the excess syrup drip off.
Step 6:  Take the peels off a few at a time and pat the excess syrup off with a paper towel - then roll them in a bowl of sugar.  Place them on a candy plate and cover with plastic wrap until you're ready to eat them!
Mmm - so yummy I think I'll make some more!
Happy candy making!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

{DIY} Felt Trees

I was browsing the Garnet Hill website when I came across these little lovely trees.

Sadly, they are no longer available on the website, so I headed out to Michaels.
 It turns out they're really inexpensive and easy to make.

If you didn't use hot glue, they would be a great craft for kids too! 
Here are the supplies:
 my total cost: $3.61
(I already had hot glue at home)

Step 1:  Make the paper cones.  At first I wanted to use styrofoam cones, but they're kind of expensive so I decided to make paper ones.  Roll the paper so it forms a cone and put a dot of glue at the bottom to hold it in place.

Step 2:  Cut off the excess along the edge, then glue the edge closed.

Step 3:  Make the bottom edge even so that it will stand straight.

Cute little trees!

Step 4:   Fold the felt in half width-wise, like a hamburger bun.  Cut from the edge to the fold in an arc, be sure the top of the arc is at the fold.  Cut them about 2 1/2" wide - I was able to get three strips out of one piece of felt.

Step 5:  Keeping them folded, and following the arc, cut a scalloped edge along one side.

Each strip should look like this once you open it.

Step 6: Starting at the bottom of the tree, hot glue the strips to the cone.

If you like, you can cut out a felt star for the top.

And there you go! 
Whimsical felt trees for your mantle or a shelf! 
Happy crafting!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday Projects and Recipes

Well hey there.  I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, there really is so much involved in moving to Japan...and being pregnant - and then I got a cold.  So I haven't made anything crafty , but I thought I would put a few of my links up from last year (I think around this time last year I only had about 150 followers ;)  So here's the list if you weren't around back then - and if you were, thanks for reading Sew Homegrown.  It may be slow here in the next month or so (which is a bummer because it's prime crafting season!) but I promise things will pick up once we're settled.  We're still not exactly sure when we're leaving for Japan, but we think it's around the first week of December.  So that kind of gives you a timeline.  Hope you're all doing well and having fun this very festive time of year!

My absolute favorite holiday side dish.

and delicious and the perfect size to pop in your mouth!

This is a simple tutorial for making this colorful rice bag.

This Anthro knockoff has been one of my most popular posts, 
but in case you haven't seen it here's the link!

Monday, November 7, 2011

{DIY} Woodland Winter Wreath

This wreath is simple and inexpensive ($20!) to make, yet it really has a great impact.

We bought all the supplies from Michaels, and completed it in about 3 hrs.
I made all the felt flowers, and mom wrapped the wreath.  I think the secret is to have lots of felt flowers, even though they take a while to complete.  Hope you like it and feel inspired to get started on your holiday wreath!
Happy Monday!

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's a....

and we couldn't be more thrilled!
I'm already working on her baby quilt - made from those gorg Anna Maria Horner Folksy Flannels!  More on that later.  Hope you have a great weekend!

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