One last post on Christmas gifts. I made vanilla extract, luggage tags, fruitcake and little zippered pouches. I glanced at a tutorial for the zippered pouches, mostly to figure out the size I needed to cut the fabric. If you're interested in making some, check out a great tutorial at NoodleHead. I used Dem Bones for most of them, because it's pretty tough to find a manly fabric out there, that isn't solid or textured. For the luggage tags, I didn't even look at tutorials. For some reason, it worked in my head. I used old plastic packaging for the viewing window, and the fabrics themselves were mostly scraps. I used a variety of prints from Luxe in Bloom, Indian Summer and my stash.
Vanilla extract, on a non-sewing note, is incredible easy to make. If you have access to vanilla pods. A grocery store nearby has them, so I got them, about $5 for two. You just cut slit them in half, scrape out the seeds (or use the whole thing like I did) into a bottle of vodka. Or, rather, a bottle holding vodka. I didn't use a whole bottle. Let it sit for at least 6 months, and you're done.
And then! I made fruitcake. Sort of a mishmash of recipes, with mostly Brazilian fruits, because that's what I had to work with. Turned out pretty good. Maybe I'll actually follow a full recipe next year. You're supposed to keep it wrapped up in cheesecloth, but I didn't have any, so I wrapped them in napkins that I sewed. I followed the technique for mitered corners at Skip to My Lou, but definitely want to test out the second technique I found, at No Big Dill.
That wraps up homemade Christmas. It was a lot of work, but definitely more fun that going to the mall. In the middle of making everything I was thinking how tired I was from sewing, then someone asked if I needed to go to the mall for any gifts and I thought, sheesh, I'm so glad I'm here, not there.