yule gifts, 2011

January 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Pumpkin, sage, and brown butter breads. I made about 10 of these and gave them to the friends for the holidays. Time was short this year, as I’ve been traveling up a storm since the beginning of autumn. Even so, I knew I wanted to do another friend community gift. Coordinating groceries, baking, and drop-off times in the last week of December was tricky but I finally got it together just before New Year’s.

The first time I made the recipe it produced far fewer loaves than I anticipated, so I was forced to eat those myself and make a triple batch the next day:

Tripling the recipe made so much batter it only just barely fit in my biggest mixing bowl. A standing mixer would help in cases like this but damned if I’m going to buy one. If money is to be spent on a machine there’s a long list of guitar pedals that are way further ahead in line.

These breads were particularly tasty, probably owing much to the large quantity of butter steeped with sage leaves. Giving holiday gifts is a good excuse to drive around the neighborhood and reinforce the mental map of the fine community we have here in Philly. Our lives may all diverge domestically as time glides forward, but the love and good intentions remain.

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gem necklace

January 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sterling silver necklace with pearls, crystals, and faceted citrine. I whipped this up for my mother for a Yule gift. She’s been getting handmade jewelry from me for gifts since I was old enough to string a bead, but I thought this year should be extra fancy. I’ve been making necklaces along these lines for a living this year, so this one is just a little more pro than my old designs. Cleaner wire work. Sharper technique.

The holidays came fast this year, since I was away for the month of November in Wales recording an album. Lots of prep for a trip, so the myriad smaller art projects had to go on hiatus for a season. December is always the zenith of crafting, though, so I jumped back into it feet first. I can make way nicer things than I can afford to buy right now so making it was! After about a decade of working my way through supplies from my old business I’m finally ready to acquire some new stones and chain, but there was enough left to make this sparkling number for my mama. She loved it, of course. My easiest-to-please audience ever.

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