Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Block Buster BOM 9

Man, it has been crazy busy around here! Everything was calm and cool...and then school got out for break. Aaaakkk! Chaos! We have been having a lot of fun, though, and getting a lot of things done. Including this beautiful block.

It's always hectic when there are two holidays back-to-back, so I wasn't sure when I was going to get this done. I figured better to get it done early, right? It also gave me an excuse to go shop the end-of-year sale at my LQS. I managed to find a great backing for a top I finished this year. Hopefully I will start getting some of those finished in the new year. Here's hoping!

I love the colors of this one. The greens are so rich, so deep. They remind me of christmas trees and the cool feeling of winter (We've actually had a winter this year. It's been wonderful!). Most of my points are making it, and I ended up cutting, regretting, and cutting some more. Good thing there's a little extra with each block. Totally worth the tweaking.

I guess the next couple of weeks will be all about the kids. I feel a need to spend as much time with them as I can while they're home. Soon, they'll be going back to school and I can get things done then...maybe...hopefully. That's the plan anyway. ;)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Yummy Cookie Craze

I know, I know, I've been MIA lately. Trying to finish up my class this semester, and get as much done as possible before kids are home for the break has kept me hopping. I am really hoping to get back to some more crafting in the new year. I have lot of ideas flooding my head, which is super exciting.

But, for now I have been working on the teacher gifts. We finish up the fall semester tomorrow, so I was feverishly trying to get cookies baked and small tokens of thanks purchased for each teacher for distribution today.

Success! How cute are these little gems! In the mix I included snicker doodles, molasses cookies, and m&m cookies.

I might have gone a little crazy. I ended up making 18 dozen cookies for 6 teachers; 6 small boxes. That's okay, now we get to enjoy the leftovers.

I figured out a couple things thru all those dozens and I want to jot it down so I don't forget.

1. USE A SMALL MELON SCOOP - Works like a dream, especially when the dough has been chilled. I was able to crank out a bunch of little drops, then roll them all. There is still a little size variation, but not enough to be concerned.

2. TURN THE OVEN DOWN - I didn't figure this out until I got to the last few batches, but man did it make a difference. They came out a little softer and chewier with being raw. I'm only talking a 25 F drop, so 325-350 F depending on what the starting temperature was.

3. SHORTEN THE BAKE TIME - This one I kept a close eye on. Similar to making mini-muffins, the cookies will bake faster simply because they are smaller.

4. DON'T SLOW DOWN - One thing I love about these smaller cookies is that there is very little down time. You're not sitting around waiting for the timer to beep. You're rolling the next batch, or removing cookies from cooled sheets, or reloading the sheets after you've taken the baked cookies off. It helps make the time go quickly.

My two cents on these tidbits. Hope they help you out a little, too.