19 December 2013


It's not too late! Tis' the season for sharing a little something sweet.

This year I teamed up with my good friend Chris from Well & Good to make Hot Chocolate Dippers. I saw them at Anthropologie for $6.00 each and I figured I could make those!

Below are links to what we used. It's not necessary to get a caramel loaf, but it's easier than unwrapping a bag of individually wrapped caramels. I used about 1/4 of the loaf for 60 dippers. I melted the rest of the caramel for another recipe and some caramel apples. So it has plenty of uses. Also, Chris and I did three batches of dippers (two batches were salted caramel, one batch was peppermint = 180 dippers total!), so we went through about a 1/2 loaf by the end of this project.

A word on chocolate. I'm not a master baker, but every time I've bought the chocolate listed below, all has gone very well. I love it. It's smooth and so so yummy.

About the trays. We searched and searched for trays that looked like the same size as the dippers I saw in the store. I liked these because they weren't tapered but completely square. About 1.25"x1.25". After trying out the dippers, this size works great with a small mug of milk. If you have larger ice cube trays, expect to use more milk, or have extremely rich hot chocolate. Also, I've only tried this with silicone. It's tricky to get the first one out, but once that's out, they'll all come out easily. An old hard plastic tray???? Who even knows.

Silicone Ice Cube Trays
Wood Coffee Sirrers
Wax Paper
Rubber Scraper
Squeeze Bottle

Clear Cello Bags - Singles (2.5"x6") Duos (3.5"x2"x7.5")
Tags - See below for FREE PRINTABLES
*Optional - Plates ($1 section at Target) and doilies

Makes 60 Chocolate Dippers (using four trays of 15 each)
5lb bag of Guittard Milk Chocolate A'Peels
Caramel Loaf
Sea Salt
Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

*Optional (and extremely tasty) - Peppermint flavoring oil
Peppermint Candy Canes - Mini's, thick... they all work.

1. Wash each silicone tray and lightly spray with Pam. LIGHTLY.
2. Cut 1/4 of the caramel loaf off and place it on a sheet of wax paper. Slice it into .75" thick pieces. Then cube it into about .75"x.75", you can round them to a ball or keep them flat.
3. Put sticks into 15 of the caramels (enough to load one tray at a time)
4. In a large pot melt about 1/4 of your 5lb bag of chocolate on low. I start at 3-low for a few minutes before I add them, then move the dial between 3 and 2. Stir occasionally. Once melted, pour the chocolate into a squeeze bottle. This will save on the mess!
5. Pour in another 1/4 of the chocolate and stir until the new bits are coated with whatever is left in the pot.
6. Squeeze a bit of chocolate into each spot of ONE tray.
7. Place the caramels with sticks in them into each spot in the tray
8. Check on the chocolate occasionally, stir. You don't want any crumbling or bubbling = too hot. It should be smooth. It's a steady slow heat.
9. Start to add chocolate and fill each of the spots in the tray. You'll probably run out of chocolate in your squeeze bottle, but that's ok, the chocolate in the pot should be melted by now. Reload your squeeze bottle and finish the TRAY 1.
10. Repeat this process for the other two trays.
11. After each tray is completely filled put them into the refrigerator. It's ok to keep them in overnight, but I've found that about 2 hours in the fridge is perfect.
12. After about 20 minutes, you can add some sea salt to the top. Do a bit on one, see if the salt melts in, if so, wait a few more minutes. You want it to be tacky so the salt sticks, but not so hot that it melts in because the salt is pretty.
13. It's nice to have sticks that stand upright, so check on them occasionally, move them back into place.

* If you want some Peppermint Dippers, no need for the caramel. On your next load of chocolate, add a few drops of Peppermint flavoring oil. The sticks will have a tougher time standing up on their own, you can put a mini candy cane in upside down and let the stick and candy prop each other up, or you can get fatter candy canes and break them down to about 2" pieces. I like the finished rounded edge sticking out the best. You can also add crushed candy cane to the tops after about 15 minutes or so (see #12).

14. Once cooled (I think 2 hours is optimal, but overnight is ok) it's time to take them out of the trays. Let them sit about 5 minutes, put down some wax paper.
15. Turn one tray upside down and work on one corner, trying to push out from the bottom and stretch the sides. Do so gently. As soon as you feel it giving way, turn it back over and push it out from the bottom.
16. With one out, you can get the others easily by pushing from the bottom, slightly twisting, pulling at the edges gently. Get them all out and place them onto the wax paper.
17. Dip each one into a bowl of Cocoa powder and tap off any excess. This is mostly to coverup any odd swirling that may have happened while cooling. It looks nice to have them coated slightly in the powder.
18. If needed, you can top each of the caramel dippers with a bit more salt before putting them in their baggies.

19. Print off and cut the tags. Load the dippers either 1 per singles bag (2.5"x6"), or 2 per duo bag (3.5"x2"x7.5"). With the wider bags, I use the folded card and string through the top with ribbon. The individuals get a bit of ribbon cinched around the bag and then a tag on each one. FREE PRINTABLE TAGS are below.

Merry Christmas Gifting! xoxo

Print these on 8.5"x11" Cardstock (q4 Cards) and fold at the center line then punch a hole.
This will provide How-To instructions without having to print front-to-back.


Print these on 8.5"x11" Cardstock (q12 Cards) and cut out each individually.
These do not have How-To instructions. But offer some various mug options.

Print these 8.5"x11" Cardstock (q4 Cards) and cut at the center vertical line then again at the center horizontal line. Then fold at the center line for each card.
 These are for packaged sets of two, one Salted Caramel and one Peppermint.

15 December 2013


Apparently my husband's family tooth fairy, is named Janice. I love it. Janice?! Who's idea was that? Because all I can think of is "Three's Company". In keeping with tradition... we needed to prepare for Janice's arrival... And FAST. Our daughter had a wiggler for a few weeks and then all of the sudden she was eating breakfast and it just popped out. Quick and painless! Bless-Ed Be because I wasn't interested in the crying and whining... (oh wait, we got our share of that on her second wiggler, exactly 5 days later.)

Needless to say, I was in tooth fairy mode instantly. I had my eye on this pillow for years, but never really noticed the price until recently. Not within my budget for a 5" pillow. I couldn't find any others in the same range of cuteness or patterns for less so I started in. I had 5 hours to start and finish this little friend.

White Knit Sweater - (I found one at a local second hand store, it was huge, without seams and the right color, but not wool. It will do in a pinch but wool would last longer.) - washed
1/4 yd. Thin Cotton Muslin - washed
Pattern (see provided PDF)
Fabric Scissors
Sewing Machine
White Thread
Embroidery Thread - Pink. Warm Grey

1. Print provided PDF pattern.
2. Wash the knit fabric and cotton muslin
3. Lay out the knit, folded once over so you can cut two pieces at once. Situate your pattern on top and pin. Cut around the fabric at the pattern line.
4. Repeat the process for the cotton muslin.
5. Layer the four pieces... muslin, knit, knit, muslin... and pin.
6. Sew around the tooth leaving a 2" gap on one side.
7. Turn the fabric inside out so that the muslin is on the inside.
8. Stuff the tooth with stuffing.
9. Hand sew the 2" side opening closed with small stitching.
For the Pocket
10. Cut a piece of muslin (using a finished end for the top of the pocket if available) that is 2x as long as the pocket size, fold in half and iron.
11. Cut a piece of the knit (using a pre-finished edge for the top of the pocket if available). Make sure it's about a 1/2" larger all the way around from the muslin size.
12. Sew the top of the muslin (unfolded) to the top of the knit,
13. Wrap the 1/2" portions around the folded muslin and pin.
14. Sew the three sides, leaving the top open, creating a pocket.
15. Hand sew the pocket to the back of the tooth.*
16. Embroider the face to the front of the tooth, making the eyes far apart and the smile long.*

* You can also, sew this pocket to the back, before you layer your pieces (#5)
* You can also embroider the face to the front before you layer your pieces (#5)

It is my preference to do these last two steps after the tooth is stuffed to ensure that the placement works. Sometimes stuffing throws me off and the face ends up too low or in a crack... this is just me.

Here's my happy toothless sweetle with her new friend, "Toothie".

Free patterns!

10 December 2013


This was a project from a while back but it can't go unposted. It's seriously one of the larger undertakings known to moms.

I always wanted a quiet book. I never wanted to actually make a quiet book. But come to find out... I had several friends with the same want/notwant so we got together and made a plan. There were 18 of us so we each made a page x20 (two people had a spread = two pages). Then we traded goods after a few months of intense sewing...  Bless you Holly and Nicole for taking on a spread each!

It was up to each of us to put them together... back them up either with bias tape or piping (I opted for piping) and some sort of cover. Some put one ring in the corner and used a single ring to keep them together. Some put three rings on and did the same thing but with 3 rings... I wanted to feel like a BOOK so I bought two cheap 3-ring binders, sliced off the front and back covers and turned those into soft binders. It was one of those "wingin'it on Christmas eve" kinds of situations, but it got done.

With 20 pages, front to back, I had 10 completed pages so I split those into two groups and made two books, one for each of my daughters (5 pages each). Today, I tend to use one book and switch out the pages instead of toting two books here and there.

Some page ideas :
1. Zipper pulls
2. Converse Shoelaces - To learn to tie a bow.
3. Garden - This was mine ;)
4. Face - (Girl) with hair to braid and a few barrettes
5. Face - (Boy) with a few mustaches to Velcro on
6. Fish Bowl - magnet fishing line and felt fish
7. Button Flowers - Interchangeable flowers to different button stems
8. Zipper teepee - I enclosed the bottom flap, added felt grass, and bought mini cowboys
9. Alphabet - This needs a full spread (two pages)
10. Alphabet - Attached with Velcro
11. Felt tree with owl and leaves to Velcro on
12. Road Track and Garage - I bought two Squinkie cars to keep in the garage
13. Rocks - Flip up to see bugs under the rocks
14. Patagonia snap Jacket
15. Numbers Match Up
16. Shapes Match Up
17. Ice Cream Sundae - Build a Sundae
18. Clock
19. Weave
20. Mailbox

03 December 2013


Every so often I try to be a calligrapher. My father-in-law has the patience and steadiness it takes to really be a master calligrapher. I see what he creates and I hope and pray I can muster up a smidge of his talents.

My good friend Christina is needing a logo type and we thought it might be fun to hand letter something for Good & Well. Stay tuned for more.

P.S. A series of 3"x3" thumbnails from the grand master.