Merry Christmas from my home to yours

Merry Christmas from Allspice AboundsWishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas filled with love, joy, peace, and celebration.

There *may* have been some sewing-related gifts under my tree this year. ¬†ūüôā ¬†What sewing goodies did Santa leave for you?


Handmade Christmas tree 2014 (and San Francisco!)

Handmade Christmas tree 2014

The holiday season is upon us! ¬†This past weekend John and I put up my miniature fiber-optic Christmas tree, complete with a slew of handmade ornaments that I’ve been using for the past few years. ¬†I have to say, I love this little tree. ¬†ūüôā ¬†It’s been in my family for a few generations and holds a lot of great childhood memories, and I love the combination of the old tree with new handmade ornaments made by me. ¬†To read all about the story behind this tree and how I made the various ornaments, check out my 2013 Christmas tree post.

Tree decorating this year included afternoon coffee and a fresh batch of lemon-raspberry cookies, not to mention the obligatory Christmas music in the background. ¬†It was quite a delightful afternoon and has become a little tradition for John and me. ¬†Since I’ve already blogged about the tree, today I’ll just share some pictures that I snapped of the finished 2014 version. ¬†Enjoy!

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Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays from MaggieMaggie and I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! ¬†We spent the holiday in New York with my family, cooking up a storm and then eating the fruits of our labor. ¬†It was very busy, but it was great to catch up with everyone and enjoy another delicious round of Grandma’s lasagna and meatballs. ¬†YUM.

I’ve been really enjoying reading everyone’s year-in-review posts and hope to do some of my own in the next few days. ¬†Taking a step back and looking at your sewing from a birds-eye view is so interesting and reflective, not to mention super helpful for planning a new year worth of projects.

Enjoy some time off from work… and, dare I say it… a few days of sewing with no interruptions! ¬†: )

Handmade Christmas tree 2013

Christmas tree 2013 02

It’s that time of year again… time to bust out my miniature fiber-optic Christmas tree and load it up with handmade ornaments! ¬†Have I ever mentioned how much I love this little tree? ¬†Oh right, I have. ¬†Well, I’m just going to do it again if that’s all right with everyone. ¬†: )

This tree is particularly special to me because it’s the tree that my grandparents used to put up at their house in Brooklyn every year, where my family and I would gather for the holidays. ¬†It’s the tree that Santa used to put my presents underneath as a kid, and it’s the tree that countless photos were taken with while my brother and I were growing up. ¬†Such fond memories! ¬†I love that it’s been in our family for so long, and I love that my grandmother passed it down to me. ¬†The fact that it has psychedelic built-in fiber-optic decorations is just icing on the cake.

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Camel and teal Beignet: in progress

Camel Beignet in progress - assembled shell and lining

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US! ¬†I’m off from work today and tomorrow, and I’m taking the opportunity to bang out another Colette Beignet. ¬†I’ve been getting a lot of wear out of my navy version (see this post), and I’m looking forward to adding a rich camel-colored version to my winter wardrobe. ¬†The camel fabric is a cotton twill from JoAnn’s, and I’m using Bemberg rayon in a rich teal for the lining. ¬†I love this color combo. ¬†: )

I cut out all the pieces last week, and last night I assembled the shell, the lining, and the facings… not to mention ironing on all the interfacing. ¬†Does anyone actually enjoy that step??

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Nutcracker embroidery – 2 finished projects

Sugar Plum Fairy embroidery (The Floss Box) Clara embroidery (The Floss Box)

Two finished embroidery projects, both from the Nutcracker pattern series by The Floss Box (via Etsy). Top: Sugar Plum Fairy embroidery.  Bottom: Clara embroidery, including winter/holiday scene.  I just love how they both came out!  : )

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Clara embroidery – in progress

Clara embroidery in progress (Floss Box)A whimsical holiday-themed embroidery project!  I started this Nutcracker-themed embroidery featuring Clara (how cute is she?) a few weeks ago using a fantastic pattern from The Floss Box on Etsy.  I finally finished Clara herself, so I figured this was a good time to snap a photo.  : )  I really love how everything is coming out so far!

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Grandma’s lasagna and meatballs

01 Finished lasagna

Well, today was the big day! ¬†Every year for Christmas I dig out my grandmother’s recipes and make her famous lasagna and meatballs, and this year was no exception. ¬†I can’t give away the secret recipes, but I did snap some photos along the way to show you how it all came out. ¬†Above is the assembled lasagna, ready to pop in the oven for a few hours on Sunday. ¬†Mmmm…. doesn’t it look just absolutely delicious? ¬†: ) ¬†This lasagna is neither low-fat nor vegetarian – it’s full-fat and full of meat. ¬†A real indulgence for the holidays. ¬†I cannot WAIT to dig into this bad boy! ¬†It’s a lot of work to put together, but the yumminess is totally worth it.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas 01 - tree

It’s beginning to look pretty Christmas-y in my apartment these days, thanks to my trusty old Christmas tree and other little decorations. ¬†Before I head home for the holidays, I thought I’d take one last look around and enjoy my festive little studio while the holiday buzz is still a-buzzin’. ¬†: ) ¬†My Christmas tree is practically an antique (Santa used to leave *my* presents under this tree as a kid) and is decked out with some serious fiber-optic fabulousness. ¬†Truly a sight to be seen. ¬†A few years ago I made a bunch of handmade ornaments for it, and I’m happy to say that they’re still making me smile this year. ¬†This tree is so me – I love it!

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Origami happiness in my entryway

Origami hanging - dove and crane

Every once in a while I get the urge to make a little origami goodness. ¬†I love the brightly colored paper, the crisp folds, and the whimsical creatures that result. ¬†This year, I whipped up this simple holiday decoration and hung it across the entryway in my apartment. ¬†I used some white curling ribbon and some red and green origami paper, folded up a few birds and cicadas, and taped each creature to the ribbon. ¬†Couldn’t be simpler! ¬†I’m pretty happy with how it came out, and I love the little touch of handmade holiday goodness welcoming me home each day. ¬†: )

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