Candy, Drinks, Recipes

Candy Cane Vodka and a Very Merry Christmas!

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This Christmas I got to build some great memories with both my family and my fiance’s. Now that my siblings and cousins and I are all of drinking age, I thought an awesome gift to make for everyone would be some candy cane vodka!

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I made one big batch and divided it between some very cute mini glass bottles I found at CostPlus World Market. I took the recipe I found at Boulder Locavore and made enough for 12 portions. This has to be one of the easiest gifts I’ve ever made for Christmas; the hardest part was just unwrapping all those candy canes! Along with the vodka I included some other festive goodies and wrapped it all up in a cute little brown paper package with red ribbon.

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I love the red hue of the vodka and the flavor just screams holiday cheer! The labels for the bottles are courtesy of Joyeverafter;  I just picked one that I liked and used Photoshop to add the words to the blank labels. All in all, I’d say it was a very successful Christmas and a very successful gift exchange. If you make a batch as large as I did, it’s definitely wallet-friendly as well. The recipe takes 2-3 days to finish, so today spend some time with your family and eat as much holiday fare as you can, but next year make some candy cane vodka! Happy Holidays, all! 🙂

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Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Jewelry, Knitting

Jewelry Making and a Quick DIY Wire-Knit Necklace

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After seeing all the amazing hand-made jewelry listed on Etsy, I knew I wanted to try my hand at making some of my own. When Black Friday sparked this year’s holiday shopping, I had a bit of sparkle envy; all these amazing pieces of bling were on sale but I still couldn’t afford it, what with all the money we still need to save for the wedding and all.

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I knew for my first couple of pieces I wanted to make something classy that I could wear on an everyday basis, but also something very simple that I could actually do from start to finish. So what’s more classy than pearls? The necklace pictured in the first image is just a simple I-cord with freshwater pearls woven into it as you knit; it can also be wrapped around the wrist and worn as a bracelet. This second image is just a very basic twisted bracelet, also strung with freshwater pearls. For these pieces I used 24 gauge wire, which is slightly thicker than what you would normally use for knitting wire but I think the thicker wire looks a lot better and less fragile.

DIY I-cord Wire-knit Necklace

What you’ll need:

12 metres of 24 gauge gold-tone wire

2 US size 2 (2.75mm) double-sided knitting needles (I used bamboo needles to keep the wire from sliding off)

about 20-30 freshwater pearls or beads of your choice (my finished piece had 22)

Some sort of clasp closure (I suggest a lobster claw)

Wire cutters

Leather finger guards (optional, but they definitely help)

String 30 pearls onto your wire. Loosely cast on 5 stitches using the backwards-loop cast-on, making sure to leave a tail of at least 5 inches. Continue knitting as you would knit an I-cord: knit one row, then slide your piece down to the other end of the needle and bring the wire around the back, and continue knitting in this fashion. I added the pearls very randomly, around 1 or 2 for every inch. To add your pearls to the piece, slide one of the pearls up the wire and place between the needles when you make your next stitch, holding it it place. As you knit, every couple of rows you want to stretch your piece a little, just to keep the cord at an even width along the necklace.  When you have about 6 inches of wire left, remove needle and string your wire through all 5 stitches twice, then pull together. Use the tails on each end to attach your clasp, then weave in the ends of your wire as you would with yarn, making sure the end finishes on the top (right side) of the piece so that it doesn’t scratch your skin.

Happy knitting and enjoy your new bling!

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