Gift Guide, 2010
Crocheted "Barney" Ornament, for Mr. and Mrs. Kinne.
The pattern is by Nekoyama (ravelry link here). It was originally in Japanese, so it's "translated" into pictures, which actually worked to my advantage, as I'm new to crochet. I added a Santa Hat and scarf with the year.
Model: Mr. Barney himself:
Crocheted "Jack" Ornament, for Beth and Bob.
Same pattern, but I was able to make the legs and tail longer because I had more yarn to work with. The Model:
Crocheted "Jasper" Ornament, for Megan.
(Can you believe I forgot to take a picture of it before I gave it to her?)
Pattern from Lionbrand here. It's a little smaller, and the I improvised the ears to make it look more like Mr. Jasper.
Homemade treats . . .
For my work friends, I made a bunch of different Barks.
1) "Christmas Bark" - White chocolate, dried cranberries, and pistatios
2) "Layered Peppermint Bark" - White chocolate, candy canes, and chocolate ganache
3) "Spicy Chocolate Bark" - Milk Chocolate, chili powder, cashews, and pecans
4) "Almond Bark" - Milk Chocolate, slivered almonds
5) "Toffee" - Butter toffee and walnuts
1) Toffee is tricky. This recipe did a great job explaining what it should look like and when it's done. Still, I found it difficult to cut it, get it out of the pan, and keep it solid.
2) Don't mix the nuts into the chocolate before spreading it out (like it says to do the Almond Bark recipe). You'll see that that batch looks "muddy" and messy. Compare it to the Spicy one with all the nuts: the spicy one looks much cleaner and more like candy.
3) My apartment is a little too warm for candy-making. I had to put each batch in the freezer to make it firm enough to break.
4) The peppermint with the ganach is AMAZING!!!! Technically, I messed up the top layer, because I didn't let it cool completely. But I still turned out pretty good!
Getting two people, a dog, a belly-hat to look good all at the same time, in an apartment without the best lighting, is not easy. Good thing I'm decent at photoshop.