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Day 9: An Anthro Inspired Festive Banner with Lizzy Anne

December 20th, 2011

Today we are featuring an amazing project from my talented sister-in-law Elizabeth. Liz has a wonderful blog, be sure to check it out Lizzy Anne here>>

“I try to be true to myself in any holiday decorating. Keeping my personality even in the face of Christmas glitter. I fell in love with a banner at Anthropologie. But did not fall in love with the price tag! Every year I feel like I have to decorate before I start on my other Christmas projects. So this year I did this one for myself before anything. A treat to me for all the hard work I’m about to embark on to pull off Christmas once again. It has been the perfect touch at our front entry and I love walking past it everyday! Merry Christmas to me! You can give yourself this gift too! Here is what you need.” – Liz

Supplies Needed:
-15 Sheets of Felt various colour ( you might want to buy a couple extra to allow for matching options)
-Cross stitch Thread ( I bought this huge pack at Walmart for $10 ‘craft thread’)
-Yarn 3 colors
-Printed Letters I used Arial in Bold and outline size 160
-Sewing machine
-Mat and Cutter
-Safety Pin
-Elastic band

Make your cuts. You should be able to get 2-3triangles out of each sheet with salvage
You will need 2 triangles per letter in the banner.

Save your salvages. If you only need 2 out of the color, stop cutting. The Salvage will be used for your letters and circle details.

Next print your letters, cut and trace them onto the felt salvages. Then cut out. Use any extra felt to cut out free hand circles of various sizes.

Line up 2 triangles of the same color. Sew ¼’ seam around all edges. Center and pin letter of contrasting color and sew as close to edge as you can.

Use your floss (craft thread) and needle to do a blanket stitch around the triangle. I doubled my thread for a thicker detail. Pick a thread of a contrasting color yet again for this look. Repeat on your circles as well. This part is what takes the most time, but the look is so worth it!!

For the braids use your colored yarn. I chose a variegated to save on money and still get a variety of color. Cut your full length of both Merry and Christmas and enough to hang, about 4.5 m. I used 2 length per section of the braid for a total of 6 strands. Tie ends in a knot and put a safety pin through the knot. Attach to carpet or somewhere you can anchor it.

Before braiding wrap up each section and put a rubber band around to make it easy to manage and easy to pull more length as you braid. Braid, braid, braid! Then repeat with second color way.


Now your ready to string your banner. Take your cream Yarn on a tapestry Needle and pull through the top portion of each triangle. This is also the time to randomly string your circles on between letters. To attach the braided portion you will need to cut small slits at the bottom portion of the triangles through only the back layer and feed through. If you use the safety pin at one end, it’s easier to pull through.

Once you have everything spaced how you like on the strands of yarn, pull your top and bottom strands together at the swag you are happy with. Do a simple slip knot to attach the strands, as well as create a loop to hang it from. You can either trim or let the ends dangle like I did. YOU DID IT It’s beautiful! Hang it and feel the Christmas spirit! Of course you could spell anything for any occasion in any color way and it’s sure to light up your day!

At the end of it you have this incredibly festive banner to love for years to come! Enjoy and Merry Christmas to you all!

Day 8: Gina Halladay Traditional Family “throw up” Dip

December 19th, 2011

Hi this is Gina from Quilter’s Buzz! This is a family favorite for many many years. What’s a party without some “throw up”? Not a good party, that’s for sure. (wink)

This simple and quick “chili con quese” dip is so easy to make, we let all the kids and grandkids help. Plus, it is a tasty treat for those in our family that are “gluten intollerant”. You can even make it a couple days before the party.

Why the name? Because it looks like “throw up” after you make it!

One recipe is great for 12-15 people. Easy to double the recipe for a bigger crowd.
We add an extra 4-5 more bacon strips to our dip, ‘cause we LOVE bacon. (My personal favorite meat!)

Gramma Halladay’s Throw Up Dip

1- can chili (without beans)
2- cans stewed tomatoes, drained
3-5 pieces of bacon
1 large onion-diced
1 lb processed cheese (Velveta)—cut into small chunks

Fry the bacon and crumble into small pieces. Add diced onions and cook until onions are soft and translucent.
Drain the stewed tomatoes and add to the bacon/onion mix. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. Add the chili and the cheese chunks. Cook over low heat until cheese melts.
(I transfer the dip to a crock pot and let it simmer until party time!)
Serve warm as a dip with tortilla chips.

Save the leftovers and reheat the next day—sometimes it even better!

Its the best “throw up” you have ever tasted!

Gina Halladay

Day 6: Chelsea Andersen’s Big Soft Ginger Cookies

December 17th, 2011

Big Soft Ginger Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

You can find more great recipes on my blog:


Under the Pink Fig Recipe Collection Tab on the right side bar.

Here is the link to the cookie recipe on my blog:


Day 4: Glamorous Stocking Tutorial with The Domestic Diva!

December 15th, 2011

Lisa’s Christmas Confessions:

Christmas Confession #1: I’ve never let my kids decorate MY tree. They can put their handmade ornaments on their smaller trees in their room. I know, I’m a bad mother.

Christmas Confession #2: Even though your Santa may wear a RED suit, mine doesn’t. I loathe RED. There is not a speck of RED (or Christmas Green) in my house during the holidays or any other time. My Santas have Gold, Cream, White, Silver, and Aqua robes…LOL!

Christmas Confession #3: I like getting Christmas cards with pictures of your adorable kids. Except the ones that include those annual summaries of their overachievements.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas! Lisa – The Domestic Diva’s Disasters Blog

Lisa’s Glamorous Lined Christmas Stocking Tutorial

Materials Needed:

  • 1/2 yard outer fabric
  • 1/2 yard lining fabric
  • 1 yard fusible interfacing
  • Sewing Thread

Print out a template or trace an existing Christmas Stocking.

Stocking Templates:

Tipnut’s Stocking Template

Martha Stewart Hankerchief Stocking Template

Martha Stewart Quilt Stocking Template

Martha Stewart Remnant Stocking Template

About.com Stocking Template

Woman’s Day Stocking Template

Fuse interfacing to the back of both your outer fabric and your lining fabric..

Layer both outer fabric and lining fabric right sides together. Trace template and cut out layers.

Sew one top of outer fabric to one top of lining fabric. Repeat with second outer fabric and lining fabric.

With right sides together, place outer fabric/lining piece on top of other outer fabric/lining piece. Sew together …

leaving a 3 inch opening on the lining (for turning).

Clip your curves.

Turn right side out and press.

Stitch Lining Opening closed.

Stuff lining inside outer fabric. Fold over lining to outside to create a self-cuff.

Make Cuff

Measure the circumference of the top of the stocking (mine is 16 inches) and add 1 inch to that measurement. Now take that measurement (for me it’s 17 inches) to cut the width of the cuff fabric with a height of 7 inches. My cuff fabric is 17 inches by 7 inches. You following this?

Fuse interfacing to the back of your cuff fabric.

Fold in half width-wise, right sides together.

Now fold height wise.

Stitch through all four layers of raw unfolded side. Turn right side out. You now have a cuff with the a raw bottom edge

Line up raw edge of cuff with finished edge of stocking. Stitch or serge.

To make a loop to hang your stocking, cut and interface a 2” x 10” piece of fabric.

Fold fabric in half lengthwise and stitch to conceal raw edges.

Fold finished loop in half right sides together. Stitch or serge together bottom edge.

Attach loop to inside cuff seam. Stitch.

Fold cuff to outside of stocking, add a fancy crystal brooch, and hang your stocking!

Day 3: Monogrammed Cranberry Ornament from Young Crafty Wife

December 13th, 2011

Martha, is a gorgeous Young Crafty Wife with a fun blog always brimming with great DIY ideas. She also has an Etsy shop that houses some of her fabulous creations. I’m very privileged enough to call her family, when I married Nathan I got Martha in the deal! She’s a darling cousin and I adore her creativity! Thanks so much Martha for your Ornament tutorial – XO Daria

Monogrammed Cranberry Ornament

You will need: – Some “Cranberries” I used little red foam vase fillers – Glue Gun – A Letter – Burlap – Wire

1. Glue the Cranberries around the boarder of you letter.
2. Continue to fill in the rest of the letter.

3. Make your burlap bow – above is how I made mine

4. Glue your bow right on top!

5. Take your wire making a little hook and glue it to the back as close to the centre as possible

6. Hang it on your tree!

I didn’t have a Christmas tree so I display it on – so my lovely barren tree outside our apartment will have to do! Merry Christmas!

Day 2: The Dessert Darling shares her FAVE Cookie!

December 13th, 2011

The Dessert Darling’s Favorite Holiday Cookie!
While I critique and review desserts at DessertDarling.com, I’ve long since given up on baking to leave it to the pros. That said, there is one holiday treat for which I must roll up my sleeves and get down and dirty with lots and lots of men. Gingerbread Men, that is.

This recipe was passed down from my Grandmother who’s ancestors used to run a bakery in Germany.

My little frosted men might look unassuming in their simplicity, but I assure you they are extremely delicious, addictive, and make for a wonderful family tradition!


5 cups sifted flour1 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg1 egg well beaten
3 tsp cinnamon1 cup light molasses
1/2 tsp ground cloves1/3 cup water
1 tsp ginger1/8 tsp baking soda

Sift 1 cup of the flour with salt, spices, and baking soda. Cream shortening. Add sugar gradually to shortening beating till light and fluffy. Add egg and slightly warmed molasses. Stir in water. Add remaingin flour 1 cup at a time till dough is soft and moist. Chill for 6-8 hours. Roll about a quarter of it and cut with cookie cutters. Continue. Put on lightly greased cookie tray and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool and then ice with mixture of confectioners sugar and water beaten till smooth and colored with food coloring if you want to be creative.. Raisins can be used as decoration.

Jenny Alden Barth critiques and reviews desserts at www.DessertDarling.com with a 5-cherry rating system to guide you to the very best. She eats the good, the, bad, and the ugly so that you don’t have to.~

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