Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Baking (aka, Why did I do this to myself??)

I have another blog, one that is all about cooking. It was my first blog and I love it. A few days before Thanksgiving this year, I thought it would be neat to do 25 days of holiday baking posts. From scratch. Without any preparation. Like zero.

I have felt at times like I was in way over my head, but now I have a bunch of holiday recipes in one place. Some are old family favorites, while others are brand new, never-before-tried recipes that begged to be made. I hope you enjoy them! Happy Holidays!

Click HERE to browse my 25 Days of Holiday Delights project!

Brown Paper Package Exchange Update

Christmas is only a few days away! I've heard from lots of the participants of the BPPE. Many packages have been shipped, a few have been received, and lots of fun has been had. To those of you that haven't sent your packages yet, please get a move on! Although I think most people had Christmas in mind, don't forget the old saying, "A New Year's package is better than no package."

My sweet mom doesn't have a blog, so I told her I'd post pictures of her package for her. I think she was the first to receive her package out of all the participants (go Sheila!), and all of my sisters and I were home for Thanksgiving when she opened it! Here's what my mom writes about her gifts:

The week before Thanksgiving, a knock at the door got the dog barking and the birds chirping! My box from the Brown Paper Package Exchange had arrived, to great fanfare! All of my daughters were already home for the holiday, and we gathered with great excitement to open my treasure box! We were impressed with how quickly Sheila sent it- and her promptness set a good example for us and inspired us to do likewise! Opening the lovingly prepared gifts was a thrill, and I was overwhelmed at the wonderful assortment of treats!

Sheila sent me an assortment of lovely, self indulgent treats: A deliciously scented ginger candle, a pair of beautifully fashioned beeswax tapers, an earthenware teacup painted with a delightful little bird, some decadent "dark chocolate" hand and body lotion, and a huge and hugely fragrant bar of handmade vanilla soap!

More fun surprises! Sheila also included in her fantastic gift box: Several notebooks she made just for me! A pack of festive holiday recipe cards with gift labels, a set of adorable vintage postcards she made, and a LARGE bar of gourmet chocolate!

But... in all this loveliness, one gift stood out, and made me happiest of all!
Sheila's little grandson, 6 year old Brock, was visiting the day she put my gift box together. Sheila wrote that Brock "wanted to send you his own gift"- which he did! He wrote my name on an envelope in his sweet six year old handwriting, and carefully placed some money "from his money box" in the envelope! If that isn't the purest example of the Christmas Spirit, I don't know what is! Sheila, thank you for all of my lovely gifts, but especially for sharing your dear little grandson with me!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Flower Fairy Button Ornaments

We decided to sign up for The Crafty Crow's Kids' Ornament Swap this year. It sounded easy: you and your kids make a few ornaments in keeping with the year's theme, then send them to your swap partners, who in turn send you ornaments they've made with their kids. Our theme this year is Fairy Tales, and for some reason, I got this idea in my head immediately that we should make handprint butterfly ornaments on shrinky dink plastic.

We ran into several problems. First, I couldn't find the clear shrink plastic; they were out of it and only had bright white. But I didn't want to procrastinate, so we went ahead with gosh-awful white plastic. Then, even though I knew they would end up small and cute, the handprint butterflies had to start out pretty big, and my kids pooped out with the coloring about halfway through the first of 5! Last but not least, they simply weren't that cute in the end. So we completely scrapped that idea and found new inspiration in the form of button ornaments from Martha Stewart!

These were so easy and turned out so cute! Martha originally made Santas, snowmen, and reindeer, and we made what we dubbed "Flower Fairies." You can pretty much make whatever you want as long as you can find buttons in the right colors! I want to do a Nutcracker set, complete with Nutcracker, Clara, and Mouse King. Junior Society even posted a project using the same idea to make a button menorah! I think our entire tree might end up being button ornaments!

And as of yesterday, we have received all of our ornaments from the Swap. Sometimes in swapping I feel like I get the short end of the stick (am I the only one who feels that way?). I put so much love and thought into my packages, and sometimes what I get in return has that thrown-together-with-no-thought feel. With this year's Kids' Ornament Swap, I feel like we struck swapping gold! The ornaments we received are just beautiful, and I for one can't wait to put them up for years to come!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Craft Boutique Tonight!!

We've been hard at work getting things ready for our first Craft Boutique! If you're in the Eugene area, come say hi and pick up a few Christmas gifts!

The Johnston Residence
5561 Excaliber
6-9 PM

Here's a sampling of what we'll have there:

Sushi Apron--our last apron in stock!

Onesies and Tees

Felted Earrings

Magnet Sets

Baby Blankies

Bobbi Pin Sets

Itty Bitty Boo-Boo Kits

Infant Car Seat Covers


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Give-Away Day: Win Fab Prizes from Max and Ellie!

Comments are now closed. Thanks to our 184 participants!! Our winners are....
K13--T-shirt or onesie of your choice
Handbagsbyjen--Boo-Boo Kit

We at Max and Ellie participated in our first Sew Mama Sew Give-Away Day in May of this year. We had such a fantastic response that we've been eagerly awaiting another Give-Away Day. And that day, my friends, is today!

This time around, we're offering not one, but TWO fabulous items from our shop! Our 1st Prize Winner will receive an infant one-piece or toddler t-shirt in a size and design of their choosing! All of our one-pieces and tees are made from super soft, 100% cotton. The designs are first fused onto the shirt, and then stitched on for extra durability, as well as a little pizazz.

Our 2nd Prize Winner will receive an Itty Bitty Boo-Boo Kit in whatever color they like best! These tiny first-aide kits are made from wool-blend felt and fabric-covered buttons, and they're teeny-tiny, so they easily fit in your purse or diaper bag. Their adorable colors and pinked edges make them super cute, and the adhesive bandages and antiseptic wipes they have inside make them super useful!

To enter, please visit our Etsy shop, Max and Ellie, and have a look around. Then come back here and leave a comment on this post telling us what items you like! Please include your email address in your comment. That's it! The contest will run until midnight on Sunday, December 6th. We'll randomly choose a winner and post the results bright and early on Monday, December 7th! Good Luck, and Happy Shopping!!