Advent Garlands and Sweets

Wow, has it really been two weeks since I last posted! I know, shame on me. Good news is I’m going to be posting a lot between now and Christmas. I’m going to be trying to do a daily theme gift guide from the 1st up until Christmas Eve.

Until then I think it’s time I shared what I’ve been up to in my workshop. I’ve recently added a couple new items to my shop.

ADVENT GARLANDS

I made a special box out of scrapbook card-stock using origami. Add in some custom number tags, and pretty ribbons, and an advent garland is born.

There are some things I’ve been planning on doing with the one I made for my son, beyond the traditional treats and little toys. We have made a couple of slips that go in them. Now my little one isn’t reading yet (we’ve just started on what sounds the letters make, so maybe by next year), so each slip has pictures on it instead. There is a pancake breakfast slip, a movie night (he’s too young for the theater yet) slip, a cookie baking day slip, a go see Santa Claus and Christmas Village slip, and a holiday party at Grandma’s slip. I’m hoping this will tame down the “When Santa here?” questions we’ve been getting since Halloween.

I’ve also turned the boxes into ornaments, ring boxes, and made larger ones to be used as gift boxes.

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SWEET TREATS

Pizzelles and spice cookies are both family favorites. I recently got a wonderful pizzelle maker that makes mini pizzelles. They aren’t quit big enough to make ice cream cones out of, but they do work to make cannolis.

The original recipe was from my great grandmother’s friend, but has been adapted gradually over the years. So far I have a dozen flavors aside from the traditional almond and anise flavors. I’ve also been working on an apple pie flavor (mainly because my boyfriend loves apple pie ice-cream and it would make the perfect cones for him) and have been considering a blueberry version.  Right now what I have is almond, anise, french vanilla, chocolate, peppermint, orange, strawberry, cherry, lemon, chocolate banana, rum spice, ginger spice, pumpkin spice, and earl grey.

Right now I only have the mini pizzelles and spice cookie mix added to my shop, but the cannoli shells and maybe some ice-cream cones from my large pizzelle maker will be added as soon as I can find a way to safely ship them. I also plan to add chocolate dipped pizzelles soon.

The spice cookie mix is available in a gift basket and the pizzelles are available in a pizzelle of the month club as well.

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Wing Vid Round-up

Here is a collection of cool wing making videos I found while wandering on YouTube when I should have been working on mini wings (sorry guys, I had a bad case of the shinies for a couple hours).

Wings and New Things

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Here are some belated images of new wings I created in October. The bubblegum pink wings were the original and made a big hit in the shop and the markets this Halloween. It was by far the most popular design with the rainbow wings and the dark black and red butterfly classics making a close second. I wish I had had more time to get the demon and dragon wing designs in the shop in time (they will definitely be cropping up after I have most the Christmas lines in). Both the dragon wings and these detailed butterfly style use the same technique to get that scalloped shape. Around the entire edge, before the glitter paint is applies, they have been hand sewn with a blanket stitch. Using this has opened up a whole new realm of shapes I can play with (YAY!). It also has eliminated the worry of dropping a stretched frame before it can get sprayed. So many have been lost to my cement porch on the way out to patio for their protective clear coat. The poor nylon doesn’t stand a chance on it’s own pinned between the wire and cement before that spray is applied.

Adult and Child Size Example

I also got to play with sizes a little more with a couple of orders, and will be introducing a whole line of “play safe” size wings. I’ve made child size wings before, but have finally refined the size to one that looks really good on kids from toddler to about 7 that also manage to be just the right size not to knock things off every table they pass (much to my grandmother and her’s carpets relief). I’d still recommend the adult sizes for photographs on children, but if it’s meant to be a play in pair, tone down the size to no more than 18″ from tip to tip. I know that sounds small, but it’s really not when you see them on.  That size even looks good on petite adults and helps avoid those awkward party oppsies. I’d say when picking out a pair of wings don’t go more than a couple inches past your own shoulder width if you’re worried about them getting in the way.

HPIM0908Some other designs that are partially done and may or may not be up before Christmas are two pirate pairs (one a jolly roger design and the other a treasure map), and a purple pair of dragonfly style wings. I also have a new pair of those angel wings I mentioned before (the pictures of the one from the Halloween orders was lost unfortunately). I also think I’ve finally solved the wire issues I was having with the dream catcher pair and hope to complete those soon as well. Currently however all those pairs are being put on the back burner while I complete a couple of advent ornament sets, fine tune the packaging plan for my pizzelle’s and cookie kits (including a rum spice snickerdoodle kit), photograph some crochet markers I keep forgetting to list, and a couple other projects that I’ve been wanting to list before Cyber Monday hits.

Christmas (Front)  - cardstock copyIn prep for the holiday season I have added gift certificates for wings to my etsy shop. They cover the cost of one pair of wings and the shipping (within the US, but custom listings for other locations can be made). What I’m hoping these will provide is a real personal touch to the gift, because the recipient can create a custom pair of wings with it.