My best cookie ever. No, seriously. Ever.

Bri and I whisked up some cookies for Turkey Day the other evening. I made a helmet cookie for each of the football teams playing and I have now created my favorite cookie I've ever made. I saved the Lions cookie for last, thinking that it was going to be the hardest. With my handy dandy toothpick I went to work. It was actually really easy and this is what it produced.


Candy Wreath party

My aunt Maggie hosted our annual Candy Wreath Party tonight. My grandma (the same one that made the stockings) received a candy wreath way back in the day and decided she could make one herself. She tore apart the one she got to see how it was done and a tradition was born. Here's some of the candy I bought for my wreaths. Here's what they look like a quarter of the way done. It's tricky because you have to think about all the sides so you don't get any holes. Candy with twisty ends works best, but we managed to fit some bite sized Milky Ways, Snickers, Twix, Kit Kats, Butterfingers and Turtles on even without the twisty ends.
My mom is the fastest wreath maker. She stared after everyone and finished second behind yours truly. You can kind of see how we do it here. You basically just wrap a hoop with ribbon, then use wire to attach candy all the way around. Sounds pretty easy, but my thumbs are still sore from pulling on the wire to make it tight. My cousin, Kelly, did one wreath in the time I did two, but she sure had a good time doing it. Much laughter ensued as she battled the candy.
My cousin, Tracy, also made two wreaths. The beautiful bows were all made by my aunt Patty.

A litttle peek show. It took a while to get these pictures as we were all laughing about inappropriate things and the wreaths are heavy so we kept lowering them. And finally a nice one. Good work, ladies. Good work.


Speaking of that contest....

If you could go visit http://www.michaelscontest.com/uploads/1368and rate my stocking(a 5 would be much appreciated!), that would be very awesome. Thanks!!!

I couldn't wait

Sorry, but I couldn't wait to get going on christmas stuff! I also wanted to take these pictures for a contest that Michaels is having for home made crafts. They have 2 weekly winners that receive $100 Michaels gift cards. Then in February they're going to have 2 grand prize winners that get to fly out to NYC and visit The Martha Stewart Show! Swoon.... I thought it was getting close enough to christmas to enter my homemade stocking. My grandma started making these felt/sequin/beaded stockings way back when my mom was a tiny. Then when my generation was born, she continued the tradition. After she passed away, my aunts and my mom took up the mantle of making new stockings for each baby born in our family. I helped out with some of my baby cousins' stockings and when I married Jordan, I decided it was high time for me to make one of my own for him. Here are all of my fam's stockings. Notice how they get bigger and more elaborate as time goes on.

The front of Jordan's stocking.

The back. Jordan's Santa needed to be a rock star, clearly. Note how he's playing a blue bass, just like Jordan's first one. Putting two elements together like this was a new concept.

The fish is supposed to be for our wedding, since we got married in Barbados.

Everyone gets a candy cane.

Seeing as how Jordan is a mechanic and has always loved his first green pickup truck, I thought this would be cute. The hub caps are buttons from the collection I got from my grandma. Yup, the same collection I used for Finn's bunny. The head light bead was probably the most irritating part of the whole project. I bougth at least 6 different beads for it.

Everyone also gets a rocking horse, though the colors differ from stocking to stocking.

Here's the snowman. He's also a standard for all stockings. This one got a little ribbon bow tie, unlike some of the older stockings. He is also holding on to the popcorn strand that's off to decorate the...

tree! Jordan's is the first stocking where the different components interact so much.

Everyone gets a couple of holly leaves as well. They take the least amount of time to make, but still take about an hour each. This is the oldest of the stockings at our house. This is my mom's front. And the back.
My dad's.
The back.
Jessica's front. Her's started to fall apart, so we took off all the pieces and put them on a new stocking. We aslo added a silk liner, which I thought of to help keep some of the stress of a full stocking off of the felt. All the new ones are getting them.
The back.My stocking's front. Poor thing, it needs a new hanger. The back. And Brianna's front. And back.


Thanks, Ray.

My mom, my friend Ann and I had the pleasure of going to the Ray LaMontagne concert on Friday night. I had been told that it was going to be one of the greatest concerts of my life and it certainly stood up to the hype. First off, the concert was at the State Theatre in downtown MPLS. Gorgeous old theatre. When Ray came out, it was just him, a guitar and a mike. That was it and it was beautiful. He was really friendly and funny, telling us some lovely anecdotes. The music speaks for itself. My only woe is that the second song I recorded didn't record all the way. Lesson learned. Next time make sure to clear off two ENTIRE sd disks. We were in the second balcony, so I was zoomed in a bit, but I think the videos are good anyway. Jess, this post is dedicated to you!

Ray told us that Elvis Costello told him that this was The Song that would bring people to Ray's music for years to come. Like Alison is for Elvis.


Not your typical snowflake...

I saw this on my friend's blog (Deucecities Henhouse) today and was inspired to try one for myself. I used an 8.5 inch square of paper and it turned out nicely. If I were to make any more, I'd use a two sided patterned paper or possibly some glittery paper. Plain white is pretty, but I think they could be fantastic!


C is for cookies. Lots of delicious cookies!

So this post is a little late, but here goes.
For every major holiday I like to make cookies. Not just any cookie. I make my best friend's mom's cookies. She used to send them all the way to Iowa from Colorado, wrapped in bubble wrap, for all major school year holidays. Looks like a sugar cookie, right? Nope, they're short bread. I never liked sugar cookies that much. When you add the frosting, they get too sweet. That's saying a lot for me since I LOVE sweets. So here is the dough, all rolled out and ready to go.

I have tons of cutters. These are my Halloween cutters. I also did my more generic fall cookies. I find that if I cut all the cookies out like this, instead of one at a time, I can keep better track of how many of each shape I have. I learned that from past cookie sessions where I ended up with way too many snowmen and not enough stars (I make them into Santa's).

Here they are, all ready for the frosting party. You can actually keep them in the freezer for quite some time if you can't get to frosting right away.

I splurged and bought really nice food coloring for my frosting. It's the gel kind made by Wilton instead of the standard liquid. The gels come in a ton of colors and they are so vibrant! Michaels has a great selection. I of course used my 40% off coupon. I never go to Michaels with out one! I just found this sweet list of colors on their website.

Liz made a sweet Frankenstein out of a skull cookie. I added a tad too much milk to the frosting and it was slightly runnier than I would have liked. Frank ended sliding a bit to the side, but he still looked good!

Cam was a super froster. My favorite by her was her pink pumpkin. She's also a super Bears fan.

Not to be outdone by his wife, Beak got in on some frosting action. As you can tell, Beak is a Vikings fan. When the Vikes play the Bears, the Mader casa is a house divided!

A small sampling of completed cookies. The cheese in the background was from some sweet Chicken Chili Cam made.

Everyone got there own tombstone.

Finn and Elsa got the best tombstones!

This was my favorite cookie of the night, courtesy of Liz. The owl was a new cutter this year. It produced excellent results.


Will Whitmore and Ugly Bunny

For those of you that don't know William Elliot Whitmore, you should. Here's a few pics and a video (I missed the first two lines of lyrics) from the show the other night. Don't mind the stupid girl talking through the beginning. She was a nasty person Alison and I almost had to fight. We would have won!
p.s. I turned the video right side up, but somehow youtube turned it sideways again. Sorry!

After the show, Jordan and I joined the Allen's at their house for a nightcap. I saw the ugly bunny doll I made for Finn's first birthday so I took a few pictures to post up. All the fabrics were gifted to me by my mother-in-law, Sue. The buttons are from my Grandma's collection she gave to me about a year ago. The nose and the tail were my two favorite buttons. The nose is a soft suede and the tail is a tweedish coat button.

This was probably the most time consuming part. I first made Finn's name out of bigger buttons, but they wouldn't fit. I had to go back to the button tin and find smaller ones that I liked. Don't worry, I tied those babies down so one year old Finn can't pull any off to choke on!