lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Father Christmas Polar Bear)
Dec 1st: Recipe: Old-World Cranberry Sauce

1 Bag fresh organic cranberries (washed)
1/4 cup sugar (turbinado works best!)
1 Tbls fresh-grated orange zest
2 Tbls (abut 1/2 an 'airline' sized bottle' of berry liqueur (Chambord works wonderfully!)
Small pinch cinnamon

Toss the berries in a pot, add cold water to cover. Add all the rest and let is simmer until the berries begin to pop. Stir often, gently 'mushing' some of the berries (leave some whole!) Once its the right consistency, say 1/3 of the berries still whole, pour into a pretty bowl and chill for 2-3 hours. (This also makes the house smell heavenly!)

Dec 2nd: Favorite Holiday Craft

Truthfully, I don't have "a" favorite holiday craft. I do all sorts of things, and what crafty things I do tends to depend on what I need, or the spirit of the moment. I will relink to the info for my Christmas gift boxes (HERE). Otherwise, it really depends. If I have time to do any holiday crafty things this year, I promise to post how-tos, but it won't be until the last of my grading is done!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Noel Angel)
Well, I do a lot of 'crafty' things all year 'round, and December is no exception. I make my own wreaths, my son and I make snowflakes, paper chain garlands, and of course cookies galore! When he was little, and prone to grab anything shiny, we made dozens of salt dough ornaments for the lower half of the tree. (These may find a new lease on life what with an adolescent kitty in the house!) I even once typeset my own copy of A Child's Christmas in Wales which I sent out to friends and family. (Photos of some of these are below).

But my best-ever holiday craft was the German Christmas Boxes I made.
Xmas Boxes, printed, assembled and embellished with glitter Xmas Boxes
These are some of the Victorian Christmas Box ornaments I've made in past years.
I still use them, and I've sent or given many of them as gifts, too. So here's how to make them:

Start with a pattern (you can find one below).

You can trace this directly on to colored cardboard (foil or colored gift boxes from department stores are great for this, just flatten them out and voila!), you can use poster-board and paint, draw, or decorate them yourself, or you can do what I did and take the pattern into Photoshop and decorate it there, and print it in color on cardstock. If you want to use these for gift containers, you can put a tag on it when it's done, or leave a space for a name in the art on the cover. There's a preview of one of the designs I used below as well.

Cut out the solid lines, and score the dotted ones. To cut, I recommend using an X-acto and a metal ruler. To score, use the ruler and something dull, like the rounded tip of a butter-knife, a pointed nail file, out-of-ink ballpoint, etc. Anything to make a firm 'dent' in the cardboard along your fold line without actually cutting through it. Don't forget to punch holes in either side for the string.

If you want to do more decorating after it's cut out, like adding glitter-glue accents and such, do it while the box is flat. Once it's all dry, fold along your scorelines, and glue the tabs. You can use a teeny binder clip to hold the top corner, but you may just have to hang on to the pointy end for a few minutes until the glue sets a bit. Add a metallic cord or narrow ribbon, fill with treats or a small gift, and hang it on the tree!
Xmas Box Pattern One of the Xmas box designs I made
Xmas Box Pattern One of the Xmas box designs I made

More crafty bits from holidays past and present:
A stocking I made for the Niblet Another stocking,  this one for the Hubby
A stocking I made for the Niblet Another stocking, this one for the Hubby
Salt Dough Ornaments Mantle in the Livingroom
Salt Dough Ornaments (I'm very lucky to have my grandmother's a huge collection of vintage cookie cutters, which really helps with making these!) Mantle in the old house's livingroom, with wreath & snowflakes I made.
And of course, Sante Mouse!
Enjoy, and happy holiday crafting!



Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities



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