Christmas Crafting Starts Now

I woke up early Tuesday morning, before sunrise actually. I enjoyed my coffee and some scrambled eggs. MrB took leftovers for lunch, and I had a microwave meal.

For dinner I tried something I hadn’t done before. I made spaghetti squash in the slow cooker. I took a medium sized spaghetti squash, poked a bunch of holes all over it, and stuck it in my crockpot with just a little bit of water. I cooked it on low for 5 hours. I put some pasta sauce and frozen soy crumbles in a small saucepan to warm. I let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes. I cut open the squash and got the seeds out. There was plenty for us to each eat one side. I also heated up some sweet peas. One day left in September, and it looks like we’re going to do great in our grocery budget challenge. No money was spent on groceries today.


Christmas Budget Challenge

I’ve decided that I’m going to try to make most of my gifts this Christmas rather than buying them. It’s not only cheaper, but has more meaning behind it.

I started a couple months ago with making vanilla extract. I put a 1/4 pound of vanilla beans, split down the middle, in a 1 liter bottle of vodka. I’ve kept it in my pantry where I shake it every so often. I opened it up the other day, and it does indeed smell like the vanilla extract I’ve purchased from the stores. I should have enough to split it up amongst a few people, and perhaps keeps a small amount for my cooking as well. I’ve simply got to find the right containers to put it in.

I’m also making things on my knitting looms. I’ve been loom knitting off and on for almost 10 years. I taught myself how to do it using the booklet that came with the original set of Knifty Knitter looms I purchased years ago. I’m going to make as many hats as I can between now and Christmas. I completed one hat yesterday. I’ll probably be giving this to my step-nephew to wear when he goes with his dad hunting.

This is how it looks when I'm starting out.
This is how it looks when I’m starting out.
First hat completed. Many more to follow
First hat completed. Many more to follow

In the past I’ve done other homemade gifts, and they’ve always been well received. I’ve made coasters out of ceramic tiles stamped with waterproof ink. Another time I made lavender sea salt scrub, and also I made a moisturizing gardeners hand wash. I truly enjoy making things, and I’m going to keep trying to learn more things so that I may use what I learn to make things not only for gifts but for our home.

I am not setting a specific dollar amount on how much I want to spend for Christmas gifts this year, but my goal is to keep the prices down as much as possible. I’ll continue to post updates on where I am in the process.

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