Holiday Treats, Gifts and “Poop” Website Fun

I was looking for the little Snowman Poop poem and found this fantastic website.  It will give you all kinds of ideas for family, friends, and co-worker gifts.  I am looking at the Snowman and Reindeer poop idea for co-workers (for fun), and the “food in a jar” gifts for neighbors, and the Chocolate Kiss trees for my son-in-laws family (we have lots of fun with them), and so many other ideas.  There are printable  pdf files for the poems, recipes, etc.

Take a look and find something quick and easy to gift  this season.

Alpacas in the United States

Alpacas arrived in the U.S. in a “short” window of time between  1984-1998.  They were carefully selected from the South American herds.  After that the U.S. shut down any more importation. Each animal was issued a pedigree registration number and certification,  and DNA blood testing is performed to ensure accuracy of lineage in each newly born alpaca.

They are a camelid and two kinds of alpacas: huacaya (fluffy teddy bear look) and the suri (long penciled “dreadlocks”). Some close relatives of the alpaca are the vicuna, guanacos, llamas and huarizo (offspring of a male llama, female alpaca).

Camelids can be found throughout the world. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia are examples.   Alpacas are a modified/pseudoruminant with a three compartment stomach instead of four (i.e,cattle, goats, sheep, deer).

In the United States the fiber industry is being developed and several mills have been started to process the camelid fibers into yarns or clothing.  All fiber can be used, but the identified coarseness determines how the product is used (fine clothing, socks, mittens, or  rugs, etc.)  Breeding for improved fiber is a goal of most alpaca owners and breeders.

Gifts handmade

I handmade some hanging kitchen towels mentioned and pictured   in December; I just came across this site I really like. Take some time to look all through it and also find the “how to” links in their far right column.  I am going to look at this closer, but the shawls caught my attention.  Remember, you can use spun  alpaca fiber  for knitting and crocheting.  I am keeping this link handy.  I will add it to the blogroll on the left of my blog.

Happy New Year 2009

It is so relaxing to be home after the holidays and have nice weather to boot. It was absolutely gorgeous yesterday while we were in Nacogdoches, TX.

 I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday with family.  The alpacas and chickens didn’t know any different but the weather was nice so we had no worries as we headed out of town for an overnight visit this week.

We had our Christmas spread out over a week.  Just the two of us here on Christmas, then our son and wife here from Okla City  the Friday after through Sunday. My husband’s father drove down from Salina, KS to spend the week with us.  He is leaving tomorrow.  And while he was here, we drove over to our daughter and her husband in Nacogdoches, TX.  My husband’s office (residential architects) always closes Christmas through New Years so there was plenty of time to  be with family.

I really enjoyed making things this year for others.  It always helps to shop for Christmas  throughout the year and relieves a lot of stress when the holidays arrive.  My husband is not so inclined, but I have already made shopping lists for some family members for next year and will watch for sales and spread out the expense.  It has evolved into “I shop and you wrap”.

I decided I had a little extra time beforehand to make some things.  I made some cheesecake bites and some chocolate swirl graham cracker treats and put them in tins for the neighbors.  In addition there was room on top to put in one of my hanging kitchen towels I made with a Christmas theme.  I also made towels for my daughter and daughter in law and father in law.  I have a few more to make before we meet up with more family in January for a holiday get together.   They are so easy and I enjoy shopping for the fabric and towels to complement each other.  I tell everyone if they need more to let me know.

I am excited to make purses, aprons and maybe placemats for next year. I am getting some patterns in mind and will be happy to shop for fabric.  I have found ebay can have some great prices on great fabrics and I focus on those with free shipping. I have found some great purse patterns and other patterns as well.

So best wishes to you for a prosperous and happy new year.  A reminder that I have several links to sites I subscribe to or visit, over in the left side column.  Take a look and find some things of interest.

A belated Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving; our family–son, daughter and their spouses–gathered in Nacogdoches this year so we could all be together for once.  We won’t all be together for Christmas so we will be visiting the kids as they have time off from their jobs over the holidays–retail managers and restaurant managers don’t find themselves with any time off during holidays, so we will go to see them.

Now, since the economy is in the dump this year, I have been finding things I can make since I have more time now to do so. I get the Tipnut newsletter and she had a link to a pattern and a picture of this wonderful purse/tote from Lazy Girl Designs.  Please take a look and go to the Noriko Handbag link below to get the free pattern.  I love the fabric she used and I can’t wait to try my hand.  I have been going online at eBay to find some fabrics for some of my other projects.

I hope this season will find you with friends and/or  family or volunteering in some way to make others happy.