Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cindy's Christmas Candy

I have been making this candy for at least 13 years. Over the years, it has received a lot of rave reviews. I think I like it so much because it is so simple and also so different.

First, the name. I named this candy for a dear friend who first gave me the recipe. She passed away suddenly due to a car accident leaving behind her husband and one year old daughter. I think of them often, and this candy will always remind me of her.

It is easiest to make in 2 batches, as you will see.

Ingredients for 2 batches:
2 24 oz. pkgs of White Almond Bark
1 10 oz. pkg cinnamon disc candy


Tools:
Baking sheet
2 quart measuring cup
Spatula
Hammer







Begin by setting aside 1/2 of the cinnamon discs - usually around 20+, saving them for the second batch, leaving 1/2 in the original bag. Using the hammer, carefully smash each disc - the ones in the original bag - (usually takes 3 to 4 good hits). Keeping them in the bag helps contain the bits that break through the disc wrappers, although you will have some escape. If needed, smash a few at a time and then move them to a bowl to make room as you work. Once all are smashed, place them all in a bowl.

Carefully remove wrappers leaving the candy bits in the bowl.

Melt the almond bark according to package directions. I chose the microwave method. All of the bark, once squares are broken apart, fits well in the 2 quart measuring cup for microwaving. Once melted, pour the candy bits in and mix well with a spatula. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, spread it out with the spatula, and allow it to cool. To speed up the process, you can set it in the refrigerator. Be sure to keep it flat or wait until it sets up to a point where it won't run over the edges.
Sorry this pic is not very appetizing.
Once cool, break into pieces.

I love to give this candy as gifts. It looks nice in small cellophane bags. I've also given larger quantities in metal tins or coffee mugs. This year, I gave some to fellow teachers in dressed up jars. I will show you how I made these in my next post.



Until then, remember to share!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

WOW! So honored, so excited!

I am so happy to share some exciting news with you! I have shared my crochet patterns with a couple of websites which have HUGE followings. A company named Prime Publishing puts out several websites for the crafting world featuring free projects and patterns. I have been featured on AllFreeCrochet.com, FaveCrafts.com, and AllFreeCrochetAfghanPatterns.com.

These sites have generated a lot of traffic to my blog, which is so fun. I would never be able to get my patterns to as many people as they can. And, the comments I get from those viewers are truly motivating.

So, now for the exciting news:



AllFreeCrochet.com viewers have chosen my first afghan pattern, 
the Color Block Afghan 
as one of their Top 100 crochet patterns for 2012.



I am more than thrilled! I should also have a Designer's Bio ready soon for those sites to feature.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this little blog. And, especially thanks to everyone who contributed a vote for my pattern! I have a lot of projects in process and even hope to have a new afghan pattern to post in the coming weeks. I've been so busy creating, I haven't wanted to spend the time needed at the computer blogging. But, after the holidays, I promise to get those posts done for you.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Top 10 DIY Christmas Wreaths

I posted last week my newest Christmas decoration for this year, a new wreath for the front door. Well, it definitely falls in the traditional category, and I have to say it's not too exciting. I was going the easy and quick route, really just wanted it to be done, and last year's wreath bit the dust. So this is what I did. It's also going to be easy to change if I have time next year.

So, I spent some time this weekend looking for ideas for next year, and I found A LOT. Here is my Top 10, and links to the tutorials. You are sure to find inspiration here, whether you want traditional, or something a bit different, like yarn, deco mesh, tulle, or even square! 

#10
from Happy-Go-Lucky
A traditional style, here. I love how real the greenery looks, very log-cabin-ish.  Makes me think of going over the river and through the woods.

#9
by All Things Thrifty
posted on Sew Dang Cute
Love the burlap. Very rustic and fresh!

#8
from That's What Che Said
Okay, since last year's wreath was a berry wreath, this one tugged my heart-strings. I still wish it hadn't fallen apart. But, this one is even prettier!

#7
from Savvy Seasons
These deco mesh wreaths are amazing. Love the AWE-factor. So fun and festive!

#6
from Wine & Cork
Cant' pass up a reason to open a bottle! I'll be working hard to gather supplies to make this one next year *wink*.

#5
from Baby Rabies
Couldn't help myself with this one. It just makes me smile!

#4
from Susie Harris
Love the whimsical take on tradition. A bit Suessical, eh?

#3
DIY Christmas Wreath Tutorial
from Becoming the Barr's
Bright and cheerful - love the yarn, monogram, and flowers. A very happy wreath!

#2
from It's Overflowing
Now this is non-traditional! So fun and new. This is what I had hoped to have time to make, maybe next year - oops, I think I said that already. I'd better find a few more places to put wreaths next year.

And Finally,
#1
from Better Homes and Gardens
I know this isn't from a blogger, which kinda goes against my rules, but it's so pretty! Love the contrast of white and red against the turquoise door. Might have to paint my door to do this one, think the hubby would go for it?


So, these are what I found to be inspirational. What do you think? Have a wreath you think should be shown here, or want to share one you made? Let me know, I'd love to see it.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Decorating is Done!

This was my final Christmas decoration to put up this year, and my only new piece. I have found so many Christmas decoration ideas this year, but I've really had to hold back. I'm sure you are so proud of me :) There's only so much time, and I know I have several projects to make for gifts. So here it is, my only new decoration for 2012, a wreath.




Simple
and
sweet.




The wreath, berry picks, and ribbon came from Michaels for 50% off, and I used a coupon for the mirrored "B". The lights came from my miscellaneous leftovers from Christmases past.


It was less than $10!!!
Here's a look at it lit up.

Look for some of my gift projects coming soon, what new decor did you make this year?