Christmas Stockings

20131227_231537It’s been far too long since I’ve written. To my followers, I apologize. I got into a heavy duty work time during which I was working three jobs. BUT, that is no excuse for ignoring one’s creativity–in fact that’s when one’s creativity is most needed. And I am happy to report that I did not let work completely overwhelm me. I did manage to create a bit during the past two months and that is what kept me sane! This has been the month that has proven to me without a doubt how important creativity is.

There have been two main foci of my creativity this past month: baking and crocheting. Let’s talk about the baking first. I have been baking since I was knee high to a grasshopper. It has always been a passion. At one time, I even considered a career as a pastry chef. So what have I baked recently? Mostly successes…and one failure. For Thanksgiving, I have always made apple pie. This year, I “shook it up” a little and made a salted caramel apple pie too–delicious! I was very pleased with the results–as were the family at Thanksgiving. The funny thing about finally trying a salted caramel apple pie is that my sister, who lives in England, told me yesterday that she made a salted caramel apple pie this November too! She’s also a baker, and it was also a first for her.

My baking failure came in the beginning of December when I was making a cake for a dinner with friends. I saw a recipe for a Chocolate Caramel Cake with Sea Salt–sounds delicious. Alas and alack, no. Something went wrong. I may try the recipe again some day when I don’t have friends coming to dinner, but that day, the cakes never rose. I reread the recipe three or four times after I took the shrunken cakes out of the oven. I couldn’t see anything I missed. Hmmmmm.

But then, I finally finished all three jobs—for at least a few days, and Christmas was coming. And “OH MY GOODNESS” I hadn’t begun my Christmas cookies. Yikes. I spent December 23rd and 24th baking away–to success! Not only did I manage to make my collections for family and friends, I also tried a new recipe for “ambrosia bars” which have been a success. Whoo-hoo.

The main area of my success though is in crocheting. First, I crocheted a ruffle scarf in a lovely teal yarn that I gave to my sister for Christmas. Previously all the ruffle scarf patterns were for knitting; finally finding one for crochet felt like a triumph, and it was an even greater triumph finishing a scarf in just three days!

My other crochet triumph also revolves around Christmas. Somehow in the past year and a half our Christmas stockings have disappeared. Last year, we had none. I didn’t realize that they were gone early enough to do anything about it. But this year was a different story. I knew. So I got to work–first searching for a pattern, then buying the yarn, and finally crocheting the final product. You can see the results in the picture above–a his and a hers, one a little frillier than the other.

And of course, I’ve been painting. No completed new painting yet, but good progress on the current project. Hopefully coming soon is the next painting.

Painting, baking, crocheting, a completed product, some yummy goodies=sanity. What keeps you sane this holiday season?