Labels for the Holiday Mix in a Jar Recipes

Well, like many of you I am swamped with the hours spent at work, holiday gift creating and shopping plus trying to get the home decorated, cards mailed and the blog kept up (whew, tired just thinking about it).  I’ve been promising more on wrap for food gifts and am taking a moment to toss up a PDF file you can download of holiday labels for the recipes in a jar I’ve posted. I’ve added a blank label page as well. They fit easily on any regular mason jar. Ever pragmatic, I prefer the label right on the jar as I’ve received jar gifts (bean soups from the kiddies in kindergarten) where the jar and the tag became separated.  I want the instructions stuck on as the vast majority of my gift recipients truly prefer pragmatism as well.

 A square or circle of cloth or paper over the lid could be the finishing touch instead of a bow. If you want to use the blank labels as lid toppers, just print at 125% – any bigger and you won’t see the label on the jar. For labels on the jars just print at 100%. Stuck on the ribbon for the photo – but in the basket I’m planning full of things, I’d trim the ties up a bit maybe use a deep purple for contrast. I won’t truly decide finishing touches until I have all the items together with the “vessel”.

The pumpkin muffins will be packaged the mix, the small can of pumpkin (I used a purchased cello bag for in the photos above and below) plus a cello bag with the molasses in a 4 ounce jam jar and a packet of cream cheese.  I’ll also include some sourdough in a jam jar with a mix for multigrain or gingerbread waffles and maple syrup (chosen recipe to come), plus the oatmeal tea loaves with the oatmeal mix jars of those as well. So many folks I know work oodles and oodles of hours per week and take off over the holidays. One of the joys of that time is being able to enjoy leisurely breakfasts. So the brunch baskets are always a treat. If I were giving the muffins with extras alone or a two mix jars – a simple hand sewn stocking (or purchased) would be a perfect holder.

I simply used the paper I normally run through my HP printer (Costco or Office Depot stock). Cardstock might be too hard to wrap easily; this label mirrors the Classico sauce label in that it wraps the jar ever so slightly. Brush the back with Modge Podge or something similar and place it on your jar. Really press the edges but be careful not to rub with your fingertip over the indented lettering if your choice of jar has that. I simply used the flat part of an extended finger to smooth and press over that area. I deliberately chose to use regular print, not photo quality and no spraying clear gloss or Modge Podge over the top as I like the handmade non-glossy look and feel of the jars.

The photos are mine on the labels with photos, clip art courtesy of Microsoft Office Clipart download for the labels with clip art. I’ve put links to the recipe on the labels, as with the muffins you’ll find the dry ingredients aren’t included should the recipient want to replicate them. There simply wasn’t enough room. I only ask that if you post your gift with my labels to your blog, you note labels courtesy of http://coedraiocht.wordpress.com  and link to the download on my site – do not copy and upload the PDF files to your site. Of course, don’t sell the labels or add the labels to a collection to sell.  I don’t sell items; I’m simply sharing what I’ve created for my own gifts.  All 3 pages of labels are in the one PDF file.

Jar Mix Label  

This post is participating in linky parties noted below.

Loving Linen

Making your own linen guest towels is pretty fast and easy if you sew anything at all. And that’s splendid as I love linen. Love the look, love the feel, love working with it.

I know I’ve mentioned that I often rely on Napkins Online from eBay rather than sewing out mitered cornered napkins – but hey  - at about $1.50 each it’s worth it if I have a bunch (sets of 12) to make given I like the whole mitered corner thing. Four or 6 double sided napkins with cute rik rak, aka the Halloween ones I discussed with tutorials here, yield very satisfying high speed results. Linen mitered corner napkins in larger numbers lose their appeal quickly.  Not so the linen towels. You’re not burning your fingertips trying to press and miter really small hems. And, two make a very nice gift. Keep your regular bath towels out but make 2 guest towels in coordinating colors to place over them for your holiday of choice.

Pretty much, I pick up my linen at JoAnn on sale. The folks over at Martha Stewart Living had recommended Gray Line Fabrics in one of their articles and I keep them bookmarked in case I need a color I can’t find locally. They have a wonderful selection and reasonable prices.

 

I simply cut rectangles 25 inches by 15 inches. First press the hems – I like to use a stiff piece of cardboard as a guide, for those in the U.S. priority mail envelopes have a nice edge to help with straight hems. First, press all around less than a ¼ inch. Then make a second pass. Finished side hems are about ¼ inch, back hem about ½ inch and front hem 1 ½ inch. Decorate to your liking. Machine embroider, hand embroider, stitch rick rak, trims or fabric strips across or appliqué with either iron on or stitching. The one thing to keep in mind is that linen really only looks good if you iron it while damp – it can be difficult to get crisp looking otherwise.

I’d purchased some linen guest towels here and they’re fine -literally and figuratively (she’s a popular seller). My Nice / Naughty stitching actually poked a hole through the purchased towel when stitching out the poinsettia (i.e. the fine notation). For my handcrafted linen towels I use a bit sturdier linen so I have more design choice in machine embroidery I’ve used JoAnn’s 100% linen (note the linked linen is 53 inches wide), not a handkerchief linen which would be too fine. You could go with linen look (55% linen, 45% rayon) or craft some very inexpensively using “poor man’s linen”, osnaburg (100% cotton), if you prefer. I’ve decided I like my handcrafted better then the “for sale hemstitch”. If you like the look of hemstitch but want to make towels, check out the fancy stitches on your machine. You may find you like an airy, feathering stitch along the hemline just as well.

 Always prewash and dry (low if linen, high for cottons). If you machine stitch items that later shrink, you’ll end up with something that’s only good as a rag – it will never look good again (picture a scrunched up embroidery design that never flattens out). For this reason be careful when purchasing items to embroider. I’d bought some cotton waffle weave that shrank terribly. I was a tad forewarned as the site said wash cool lay flat – but I don’t know anyone I could gift waffle weave cotton dish towels who would not throw them in the washer and dryer so I bought a few as an experiment. I was surprised to find someone was actually selling cotton dishtowels that couldn’t go in the dryer to crafters as embroidery blanks. They are now with my rags, luckily I didn’t embroider with them first. I can understand with linen, but cotton waffle weave? I only hope crafters reselling these didn’t lose their reputation and customers. Not pre-washing keeps that crisp, new look. But it can bite you later. Always pre-wash. Starch after if you like and want a crisp new look. (aside: I did email the seller, saying the warning was there so I didn’t want a refund but it wasn’t big and could cost customers – I noticed they came off the site’s offerings).

I use various shades of linen above are 2 in the “natural” look. The runner they are sitting on is linen yardage from Ikea (seemed to be a summer product only).

The Dove towel stitched out beautifully. The Peace on the right I’d edited by removing the dove and added the word peace. My machine then had problems stitching it out (no stop from green to red on 2 of the poinsettias that you can see). When machine embroidery fouls up – it can be nasty. Nests of threads knotted together on the underside, can poke big holes, and worse. My first machine had a ton of problems (and these puppies can be expensive). The retailer finally swapped it for a different new one and it’s been clear sailing since, but at first it was way too finicky and unpredictable.

The designs on the towels I’m displaying are: Embroidery Library Watercolor Maple Leaves and Embroidery Library Victorian Christmas Dove. I usually edit the colors to suit me better. The Nice, Naughty I’d put together with my font program. I have so many small holiday designs I’m not sure where those particular poinsettia and mistletoe came from.

If you don’t want to “sew your own” Dharma trading has very reasonably priced linen runners (and  Napkins Online has linen cotton blend runners). For something different in hand embroidery designs, check out Sublime Stitching or Urban Threads. Using trims, fabrics and appliqué on your guest towels is as limitless as your imagination.

This post is participating in the linky parties noted below.

Classics never go out of style

Egads, in searching out a favorite site I recall from eons back on making Halloween tombstones (and I found it, these were top-notch, meant to be built once and last Wolfstone Halloween Host Tombstone how to),  I found a copy of a post I made on the Gardenweb junk forum regarding Halloween decorations in October 2005, fifteen years ago!  “Forget the Backyard …” was its title, we were offering solutions for “Dragoness MS” who wanted Halloween decorations on the cheap as her neighborhood, although standing, was recovering from Katrina.

 Nifty little bit on the Mac I have, I can save any webpage as a .pdf.  Used to just save links, but then a favorite gardening magazine with truly top notch instructions online for various wood crafted items went out of biz and took down their web.  Now if I love it, I try to save more than a link.  I’d saved this particular post as someone had put free vintage images within the posting and it was a collection of fun Halloween stuff. 

 Wow, I do say in a post a few down, everything old is new again. The painted Halloween jars aka lanterns are all over the linkys and Pinterest this year.  I don’t have pictures for the crafted items as I moved and these older things didn’t make the cut for packing space (too easy to replace).  From Oct 7, 2005: 

http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M3313.htm

“Basically, for the ghosts, you invert tomato cages and string white Christmas lights around them. Then, cover with the Ghost (EASY – a front and a back – if you don’t sew you can use glue) and the faces are painted on.  You don’t really need the pattern. They use white craft felt but any heftier white/ tea stained fabric (Osnaburg for a nice look) would do. Use stick tepees instead of tomato cages.

 Lanterns - use clean jars (I’m personally fond of Classico spaghetti sauce as it has nice flat sides and for other crafts clean new mason jar lids fit). Use contact paper or WIDE painters tape and cut out four Halloween shapes (bats, cats, ghoulish face, wide toothy grin, nose, eyes like jack o lantern) and 99 cent paint from WM.  Place a shape on each side or just one – invert jars on a stick in the ground (empty wine bottle, whatever) and spray away (I do cover the area with old newspapers as I tend to be messy). You can also spray the shape area first (orange, light purple) and then do the black coat (looks much better, use painters tape not contact paper if doing this – you can also stencil a face on at the end). I’ve traced around Halloween cookie cutters, used the shape from rubber stamps and see this year MarthaStewart.com has some good, downloadable images along with a beautifully executed version of the jars. Place in a bit of sand (optional) and a tea light (battery ok if not raining or you put the lid back on, candle ok but know kiddies may wander over up close  to stare in and some costumes are flammable) - la voila. String wire around the tops to hang them. I may do all ghoulish faces this year and have the outer coat purple or icky green.”

Do visit Wolfstone’s site and note that he navigates to more detailed pages and updates (they made them a few times so many years apart and included their learnings and improvements). His gravestones are incredible and, if you follow his method, they will last.

Resurrecting this post for 21st Century Housewife’s Gallery of favorites and Half Past Kissin Time’s Saturday Sampling.