Monday, December 7, 2009

Home-made Soap, Mara Shawl and More

I've been away from blogging lately as Christmas nears. It's one of my favorite seasons and I love the bustle that goes with it. I'm not a big shopper to begin with, but with my hubbie still out of work (since July) I've been extra busy this year making more home-made gifts than in past years. We (yes, we, my hubbie helps in the soap-making A LOT) made two kinds of soaps for gift-giving as well as ourselves. We always have our own soap on hand as we truly love it. Anyway, one kind is Goats Milk with Honey/Oatmeal and Olive Oil and the other is a very soft soap lightly scented with Violet essential oil. Neither are glycerin melt and pour. Both are the real-stuff! I made up many, many washcloths with flannel on one side and terry on the other and paired them with a couple bars of soap. Set in a wicker basket and wrapped with some tinted basket wrapping and a pretty bow made up for nice gifts. Each of my seven kiddoes are getting one of these baskets.
*We do have some soap available for sale. They are $4.00/bar. I can fit four bars into a USPS box for $4.95 shipping. If you'd like some, please e-mail me at and put Soap in the message line.

I also made Kaleigh this beautiful Mara Shawl. The pattern was free on-line. For some reason, the URL isn't listed at the bottom of my print out but if you google it in, you'll find it. It's a beautiful shawl and I really enjoyed making it. Kaleigh's favorite color is green so I think she'll really like it. I used Lionbrand Vanna's Choice yarn. Even though it's an acrylic yarn I found it to be soft and nice to work with. I know we can machine wash and dry it too, so that was a very nice plus.

We recently went on a little day trip to New Milford, CT to the Silo. We go every year after Thanksgiving to see the huge Christmas tree. They put it up in a barn and it's live. The story behind the people that own The Silo is quite interesting. Skitch Henderson (now in heaven) founded The Pops where he conducted at Carnegie Hall for many years and his wife, Ruth, was a Vogue model in Germany before coming here. If you live in the area, you may enjoy a trip there. They have many kitchen goodies for sale along with wonderful cooking classes with famous chefs (if you have the pocketbook to afford them!).

We had some pieogre (I know, it's probably spelled wrong.. Polish dumplings in English) making here recently. Everyone got in on the fun and they came out really good. We only make them once a year, for Christmas Eve, as they're a lot of work. My grandma used to make them and my mother-in-law, too, so it's only natural that my husband and I carry on the tradition. We're determined to pass it along so all of our kids have always joined in the work (oops, I mean fun). Well, we try to make the work fun, and it usually is... our kitchen is filled with lots of laughs as we work!

My oldest son has moved out and is on his own. He's engaged to be married in a year and a half. The other day he was going to make Swedish meatballs and called me from the store. He was missing a few spices. He bought them at horribly expensive prices so I decided to make him up a little gift basket filled with some bought spices and some home-canned goodies. It'll be a nice go-along gift with the crock pot we bought him.
I'm nearly done with Christmas gift making. One of my friends has me busy making a few knitted gift items for her, which I'm truly grateful for, but other than that I think I'll put my knitting needles to rest until after the first of the year and pick up my embroidery needle instead. I have a beautiful counted cross-stitch sampler I'd like to finish for myself before Christmas. If I finish, I'll post a pic. To see more of my Christmas gifts, click on my side bar Homemade Christmas and the year. So... what are you all making for Christmas?


bumblebeebags said...

I'm making both my boys bookbags out of their favorite football team prints. I hope they like it.

Cheryl said...

Those soaps look fabulous and sound like they smell wonderful.
you have been a busy bee for sure. That shawl is beautiful and I agree with you abou the wash and use quality of it. Love that.
I have two quilts I need to get done. Some potholders and dishcloths. For the kids and the hubs, I think this year I am buying for them. All the handmade is going to extended family. I am also going to make some scripture coasters too.

Javajem said...

Thanks for the comments on my hat :)

I am so jealous of your pierogi making! It's one of my favorite things in the world.

nocton4 said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, am loving reading yours too.
all love xx

Carol R said...

Lovely gift baskets! Shame the postage would be too high to the UK otherwise I would order some of your lovely soap!

RAnn said...

Welcome to the Catholic Blog Directory. Blogs added to that directory receive an invitation to join Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival which is a weekly feature allowing Catholic bloggers to network and share favorite posts with each other. This week's host post is at