I wish everyone safe travels and a Very Merry Christmas! :)
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
After watching Hammond's Candies in Denver, Colorado handcraft their fine hard candies on the Food Network, it has been a dream of mine to have some of their creations in our stockings for the holidays. The way they start with a HUGE piece of striped sugar and work it down to a hand sized or bite sized candy is such a wondrous marvel, matching the skills of even Mr. Willy Wonka! ;) I am happy to say, that after bullying Mr. Hollow into doing a little frivolous shopping on Sunday, I found these... Hammond's Candies very own Candy Canes!!
The candy canes are sooo much more beautiful in person. It was the eye catching colors of the canes in the display at the Monroe, Shopko store caught my eye. I have NEVER seen such wonderful striping, and the canes are longer than my hand and as big around as my thumb. I wish that there had been a sign with Hammond's name above them, but there wasn't. :( The craftsmanship of the candy was what drew me in. I had already decided on first site that they were going into our stockings. Imagine my surprise, as I drew the first cane out of one of the various pails and saw the Hammond's Candies tag. They are truly a work of art, and I look forward to tasting them. Next year, I will definitely order some of their other candies at their online store here. And to make things even sweeter, their tag reads... Handmade in the USA! :)
Thursday, December 13, 2012
If you find yourself in a pinch, artist Laurie Furnell has offered a FREE Christmas print out (made possible by Aimee Asher Boutique) to create a festive holiday snowman from a large or regular sized Hershey bar. I had read about this darling snowman a few months ago, and he has taken center stage in my house with the Christmas holiday right around the corner. They will come in handy at work where we do a small gift exchange. I love the idea of a little holiday stitching, some quick-time crafting, and being able to give the gift of CHOCOLATE. Who wouldn't appreciate that! PLUS... It gives me an excuse to use some of that 1.00 a yard fleece that I purchased from the JoAnn Fabrics' Black Friday Sale a few years back. ;)
I started by going to Laurie Furnell's free snowman download here. (You will have to register but will not be charged at check out.) There is a print out for her rules, the finished product, print out for a regular size Hershey bar, and a print out for an 8 oz. bar. I choose the 8 oz bar design and printed it to fit on a regular sheet of paper, which was perfect for a 4.7 oz. large Hershey bar. Then, I began to sift through my stash of fleece and construct a pattern for my festive goodies. :)
I know it is a little hard to see in the picture, but you will need to cut down the paper to the right of the design and on the bottom line. Then, tape the seal flap on the bottom of the Hershey bar wrapper to the front of the candy. This will keep it hidden from view.
I find that Hershey was pretty accurate with my batch of bars. Once I flipped the print to the back side, the Hershey bar could be placed front side down on the paper. The right side of the paper could be placed over the back of the bar and lined up on the brown line above the final vitamin line, and the snowman's face would be nicely centered on the reverse side. After using three pieces of tape to secure the right side, the left side was placed over it... three more pieces of tape and onward to the stitching part of the project. Yeah!!
If you are like me and would like a snugger fit to your stocking hat, cut a piece of fleece approximately 7 3/4 inches square. On my paper pattern, there is a dotted line 1 1/4 inches down from the top of the pattern to aid me in marking the fringe for the pom pom top.
On the reverse side of the folded fleece, make the line for the fringe. (A Sharpie marker works great for this.) While the fleece is still out, a strip can be cut 1 1/4 inches wide and approximately 17 1/2 inches long for a matching scarf. (This will leave you a little excess for adjustments after placement.)
Working on the reverse side of the fleece, a simple overcast stitch can be used from the bottom up to the tassel line. Tie off the thread and the bottom of the hat is finished. With scissors in hand, cut the fleece in approximately 1/4 inch increments from the top of the fleece to the tassel line, creating the fringe for the pom pom. Now turn the hat right side out. Starting at the center seam, use a gathering stitch under the fringe and pull tight. I like to wrap the thread one more time around the fringe line, pull tight, and tie off. This will create a darling little pom pom. Folding from the bottom of the hat, there will be enough fleece to fold twice. Now it is time to dress the snowman!!
As you can see by the photo, one of my co workers is a marksman (He is also the only rooster in our hen house!), so the camo fleece came in handy. The candy cane stripe is perfect for a wonderfully Christmasy decoration. And for my fellow co-worker that makes me laugh with stories of her mischeivious pooch, a red hat and scarf adorned with doggy prints. :)
It makes me laugh to think that I almost got rid of some of my fleece last summer! I cannot wait to do some more of these little snowmen... I am sooo hooked. Think of the possibilities. Hmmm... Mismatched hat and scarves... Felted wool hat and scarves... Even different kinds of candy bars. The options are limitless.
A HUGE Thank-you to Laurie Furnell for such a charming printable design. And for those that decide to take advantage of this freebie, the design will be available to you for 7 days or 5 clicks. This would be such an inexpensive gift for kids to create for friends and teachers, too! If you have a little time on your hands, check out Aimee Asher's website. It really is an inspiring place to visit. Happy Holidays to All!!