This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking them, we will be compensated, but there is no additional cost to you. All opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for your support
Welcome to our new monthly feature, Handmade Monthly!
Every year, after the holidays, I think to myself that in the coming year I will make and prepare things all year to be ready for next Christmas and that will help me to take the hustle and bustle away a bit and leave time for all of the sweet, beautiful moments.
I love giving handmade gifts. I grew up with a mom who sewed, knitted and crocheted and gave a lot of handmade gifts so if I don't make a few things to give, Christmas just doesn't feel right. Afterall, handmade gifts require time, thought and effort, especially if you want them to be something that the receiver will love and use. So, because of these reasons, I talked to my girls and told them that I wanted to do a feature each month about things we can make that would make excellent gifts. They were all on board and have some great ideas for future projects! Get excited!
January's project still has a strong Christmasy influence because we were influenced by the after Christmas sales! But, it is definitely something you could give at any time of year. I think these would make adorable bridal shower gifts.
When we were perusing the after Christmas aisles, one of the things we saw were snowflake stamped placemats. It was one of those, "How cute! I could make those for less!" moments. Then we went to the fabric store and found fabric on sale and it came to me that instead of just Christmas placemats, we could make reversible Valentine's Day/Christmas placemats instead! Double duty things are always awesome!
One thing I learned as I started to cut out the placemats is that while I purchased the same amount of yards of fabric, I forgot that the red was 60" wide and the plaid was 45" wide. The red was the end of a bolt, so I purchased all of it which was 1-3/4 yards. So, I purchased the same amount of the plaid. But, when I started cutting, I was able to get 10 red sections but only 6 plaid because of the difference in width. So, If I wanted to give 4 placemats as a gift, I will need to get more of the plaid fabric to make 2 gifts. If I make 10, that will leave 2 left over for me and my husband to use for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner! Ha Ha!
I had seen some really cute fabric napkin rings being sold online and I decided that I could do something similar on the Valentine's Day side of the placemats. But, I was concerned about a bulky button making a lump or scratching my table when I used the Christmas side. Then, I found these felt buttons, which were the perfect answer! I love how these built in napkin rings turned out!
Click "Read More" to go to the directions of how I made these! Let the gift making begin! (I am so excited!)
Lindsey wrote this post back in 2015, right after we first started this blog. She hadn't been home from her mission in France very long and she was excited to talk about the extension of the Christmas holiday that she got to know very well while there. You may have heard of 3 Kings Day, celebrated on January 6-7th. It is a holiday in Europe. In France it is called Epiphany. It has to do with the three wise men coming to see Jesus after he was born. Many people don't realize that the Wise Men didn't arrive to see the Christ child until much later than the shepherds, as they followed the new star that appeared in the heavens on the night of his birth.
So how do Europeans celebrate Epiphany? They bake a cake, with something inside it called a "feve" (because it used to be a fava bean.) After it is baked, someone hides under the table and tells you who to serve the slices to, everyone then eats their slice and the person who finds the feve gets to be king or queen for a day.
Basically it is an excuse to eat cake. There are a few different versions of king cake floating around France (and I am sure the rest of Europe, but here at Three Winks we only care about France.Ha Ha) My favorite is the brioche. Don't ask me to describe what the cake tastes like in English, because I can't. It is cake. What more do you need to know?
I got this King cake recipe from my favorite French super baker tartelette, and I just made a few adjustments, because I don't generally have orange blossom flower water lying around the house. (I know, I need to be better.) So I made it with a mixture of the pure vanilla extract that my sister in law's mother made and almond extract (to remind you of the other type of king cake, frangipane, that has almond paste in it.) If you are as cool as tartelette, use the orange blossom flower water. The woman is French after all so she knows what she is talking about.
Want to see some pictures?
After it was all baked... I went to bed because it was super late. The next day after my oldest niece and nephew got home from school I sliced it up. My niece Shyanne hid under the table and called out who got which piece. My sister in law Korina ended up with the feve and got to be queen for the day. She was happy because she asked if the queen gets a foot massage and I said yes, but not from me.
Good thing she has four kids and a husband to take care of that.
So, king cakes. They are a fun little tradition, and you get to eat cake!
Check out tartelette's blog for her king cake recipe and try it out! Happy belated Epiphany!
Here are some ideas for favors if you need them!
This post contains affiliate links. We will be compensated for purchases made through those links at no additional cost with you. 3 Winks design does not share your information. All views expressed are our own.
If you are looking for a simple and delicious little something new to serve as an appetizer, this combination of seafood with the hearty potato really hit the spot. It isn't often that an appetizer gives me that hearty feeling of eating something substantial. But the goodness of the potatoes with the cheese and the wonderful taste of the crab make these something special. As a matter of fact, I made some a little larger and my husband and I ate them as a meal!
Here are other appetizer ideas:
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
Get my Blog Button
<div align="center"><a href=" http://threewinksdesign.weebly.com" title="3WinksDesign"><img src=" http://threewinksdesign.weebly.com/uploads/4/2/4/5/42456147/button_orig.png" alt="3WinksDesign" style="border:none;" /></a></div