Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Easter Brown Bags

For the season of spring, it is never too much to prepare these dressed-up simple brown bags and gift them to family and friends. I always make simple sugar cookies and decorate them (...or not). Recipe for them here. Recipe for Spring Linzer Cookies: here.

Check my post Easter Table here for decoration inspiration.

Back to the brown bags:


This year I used pastel green and yellow colours, with a hint of purple.

Please, follow the images and your heart for decorating these bags. Use the craft you love the most to express yourself at best. I have used these cross-stitched little bunny designs, but yours could be different. The idea is to incorporate the card stock with fabric and ribbon - it transforms the bag completely. 


Materials needed:

Cardboard for the labels
Fabric designs of your choice
Fabric for the backing
Ribbons in matching colours
Simple brown bags
Clips

Pattern displayed for download:




Additional tools needed: hole puncher

Once the designs are ready, place them face down with the backing fabric. With erasable pen/pencil, transfer the egg patterns on the back and stitch around the curve, leaving an opening on one side (as shown in the image below).


Do not forget the notches: these guys are super curved and in order for the design to lay out flat once turned right side out, it needs to be helped by cutting notches all around the curve. Be careful to always cut 2 mm away from the seem.


Turn your designs right side out and finish the open seams with slip stitch.



Use the flag shaped pattern to cut the labels out of the card stock.
Punch two holes in the middle for the ribbons.

I have needle-weaved a loop on top of the egg-shaped labels for the ribbons. Attach the fabric and card labels together and tie the ribbons in a bow. Fill the bags with cookies and/or Easter buns/bread: recipe here. Clip the ready label on the brown bags. Make your friends happy :)

Happy Easter!

 Ivelina







Thursday, 29 November 2018

Christmas Apron

What makes Christmas unbelievably special, is the time we spend in preparation and anticipation of the moment when we will be together with loved ones.

The dressing up is purely vital - the cleanness of the house and mind is one thing that opens the heart for the blessing of Christmas. 

The night before Christmas, I remember how my grand-mom walked around her tiny house, burning incense in her little kettle dish to clear the home and land from the evil spirits and sins. She visited all the corners, well dressed and beautiful in her old-fashioned clothes, she only wore at this Holy time. She walked into the stables, giving hug and touching every one of her lambs and sheep with her fingers all curved as the branches of the old walnut, growing just outside her house, fingers already showing signs of the knowing no mercy arthritis, hands all stained and rough, from the work she had done during the day and at all her life, but with the most beautiful glare on her face - a kind reflection of the weak light from the candle she was caring in her other hand. It was a time to prepare ourselves for the Great event, a time to ask forgiveness and give one to ourselves, before the church ceremony at midnight.

This ritual, that I had always found annoying and disruptive to my comfort as a child, now fills my heart with love and sadness. I find piece in the little design from Tania Santarelli at  LilliViolette. It took me back in time with all the beautiful and unappreciated as a child memories.


It is ordinary and simple in my heart today. I have never liked the shiny Christmas, but I found for myself, that the simplicity in life keeps me grounded and strong. Whatever we make with our hands and heart is the most important - that is how we nurture our children, we create memories for them, to remember for who we were and we give them the tools to find themselves when they are ready to see through these memories. I am far from the thought that they could see through my memories with my grand-mom, but this design is what lit that memory in my heart and I think it will carry the spark for my daughter when she prepares her Christmas tradition. 


Baking for Christmas? That is the most important thing for me. I start light in November and when December hits, well, let's just say that 'I make them eat cakes' :))) I barely cook anything else, but bake for Christmas. 

In the days when I was growing up and spent time with my grandmother, it was a forty-day fasting period before Christmas day. As I said earlier - clean the house, the stables, the body and the spirit, prepare for the Holy arrival. Everything that my grandmother prepared before-hand, wasn't tasted, just well packed in air-tight containers and stored in the cold stone room. All this flavour and taste in the air was to be savoured in anticipation. What a test to my soul! 

I do not perform this "torture" to my family. I wasn't raised religious. When baking starts in my home, it becomes a struggle for the cookies to survive till Christmas.


Any concerns that anyone has with the stains on this celebratory apron, I would like to put to rest. I have a back-up and a back-up to the back-up :)

I made this little bent on the right side of the apron, so my dear girl could always wear a kitchen cloth to clean her hands. And she could only uses this apron for serving. When she cooks, I made a spare, vintage inspired apron with no stitched design. Sometimes cooking could be messy...


This apron has a very raised waist line and protects the clothing well. I think she would cook braver in it :) 



I sense it is that time of the day, that I have to put my Stained Apron and dive into the kitchen.

Thank you so much for spending time with me and my thoughts. Thank you for stopping by! I hope you dig into your beautiful memories of past Christmas time to feed your imagination. 



Happy Christmas baking!

 Ivelina