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Archive for the 'Holiday Crafts' Category

Happy Easter from Crafty Manolo

Sunday, April 8th, 2012
By Twistie

May your day be filled with chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate… and maybe something as pretty as these eggshell vases. But if nobody gives them to you, you can learn to make them yourself at

Somebunny Is Getting Dipped

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
By Twistie

With Easter just around the corner, it’s a great time to indulge yourself in seasonal sweet treats.

Now personally, I’m not that wild about Peeps. Then again, I don’t like marshmallow. Never have, never will. Still, while I consider them useful only for scientific experimentation, and some others mark them for grisly death, there are those who truly love eating the little suckers.

Ah, but doesn’t everything taste better enrobed in chocolate? Okay, there might be something that doesn’t, but marshmallow clearly isn’t one of those mutant food items. It’s better with chocolate.

So if you like Peeps, and you like chocolate, and you’re looking for a fun holiday project to share with the kiddies, you should definitely check out this article at Makes and Takes from a couple years back with instructions on chocolate coating your Peeps.

When Irish (and Not So) Crafters Are Smiling

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
By Twistie

With St. Patrick’s Day just ten days away, it’s time to start thinking about those last-minute opportunities to craft something for the occasion. And that’s why I’ve come up with a quick roundup of some of the best, quickest, and most amusing Irish-themed crafts on the Web.

Over at Craft: Project, you can find instructions for this super cute headband. It involves several techniques, including ribbon work, needle felting, and simple hand sewing. This one was made specifically for St. Pat’s, but it’s easily adaptable for any occasion or just the desire for something fun and pretty to put on your head.

Of course, if you don’t want or need a headband, you could always go to the same source to find instructions for knitting a sweater for your guinea pig. No, seriously, I mean it.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
By Twistie

(Image via Alphamom, where you can find links to this and several other attractive, kid-friendly Valentine’s projects)

Happy Valentine’s Day from Crafty Manolo!

And if you can’t be with the craft you love, honey, love the craft you’re with.

Sweets and Not So Sweets for the Sweet

Monday, February 13th, 2012
By Twistie

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and we all know what that means. Flowers, chocolate, prix fixe meals at restaurants we rarely can scrape up the funds to go to, and… well, all that usual stuff.

Me? I like the chocolates and flowers. Mr. Twistie and I usually go out for dinner the night before V-day, but he’s been seriously overworked and exhausted this year, so I’m going to take the opportunity to make a really nice home cooked meal for him this time around. Then I’ll tell him to go the heck to bed early and get some damn rest. Sometime in March it will probably occur to him that he didn’t take me to a fancy meal and he’ll take me out then… when I can order whatever I please and the restaurant won’t be overstuffed with people. That suits me just fine.

But for those of you celebrating in a very slightly less unconventional way, there are still options to make the day special.

The first of these comes from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, where you can find full tongue in cheek instructions and a photo tutorial on turning an ordinary heart-shaped box of Valentine’s candies into a fun way to present the love of your life with tiny fiddly electronic components. It’s simple and versatile. After all, if your love doesn’t want transistors but would love bits of festive colored rovings, some good sewing needles, or other small crafts supplies, this would work really well for that, too.

And for those of a more traditional bent and reasonably good kitchen skills, Epicurious has Jacques Torres’ fabulous chocolate truffle recipe filled with great hints and yummy alternatives.

Either way, this is probably better than a drugstore teddy bear holding a red satin pillow that reads ‘I wuv you beary, beary much.’

Merry Christmas from Crafty Manolo!

Sunday, December 25th, 2011
By Twistie

(Illustration via, where you can find instructions for these wax resist greeting cards)

May Santa bring you all the crafty toys your heart desires!

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To….

Friday, December 23rd, 2011
By Twistie

… and that’s not always such a bad thing.

Once the German tradition of Christmas trees was imported to England in 1841 along with Prince Albert, people had to come up with ways of decorating them. We all know about popcorn strings and candles and candy canes, but the endlessly creative Victorians came up with a plethora of ways of making their homes festive for the season, and some of them were less classically attractive. has compiled a selection of Christmas ornaments Victorians made at home that you can, too… if you really want to.

The one above is peanuts on a string. That’s right, those are peanuts wrapped in pastel tissue paper, fringed on the ends. For my money it’s miles and away better than the chimney sweep made of prunes.

Well Fancy That!

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
By Twistie

Hey all you baking mavins out there! Fancy Flours is having a series of one-day sales for the next week. The shindig starts tomorrow, thursday, december 15, with a one-day 25% off sale on all cupcake liners, wrappers, picks, and decorations as well as books and DVDs.

Now’s your chance to get something like this rather glorious Nutcracker Suite cupcake decorating set for a quarter off. The set includes 24 cupcake wrappers in two styles, and 24 picks in four different styles: the Nutcracker, Clara, the Rat King, and the Sugarplum Fairy.

Then check back each day for more sales!


Quickie Question: Most Unusual Crafting Material You’ve Used

Monday, November 28th, 2011
By Twistie

(Illustration via Craft Elf, where you can find instructions for this melted snowman Christmas ornament)

When we’re setting out our crafting supplies, most of us tend to think in relatively traditional terms. Thread, needles, hooks, felt, wood, carving tools, beads, etc. We take the things our crafts are generally made from, and we make more. It’s great. I love to work in linen and silk threads whenever possible. Chances are you have favorite materials to work in that you know will make your work turn out great.

But sometimes it’s fun to experiment and see what will happen. The Christmas ornament above, for instance, is made of glue. Oh, there’s a bit of pipe cleaner and some black beads, and a little thread for hanging the piece on your tree. But most of it is simply glue melted onto a piece of foil, which is later removed. Glue! I don’t know about you, but I think that’s kind of an awesome fun idea.

And as much as I love using linen and silk and even cotton to make my lace, I also enjoy using copper wire, and have been known on more than one occasion to work some brightly colored rayon threads into my lace.

So what about you? What unusual materials have you played with? How did it work out?

Etsy Gets the Thanksgiving Spirit

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
By Twistie

Yesterday, you may remember, I was bemoaning the dearth of good Thanksgiving craft ideas floating around the web. Well, I did the smart thing after that and headed over to Etsy to see what the talented folks there were up to for Turkey Day, and they did not let me down. Check out a few artists, purchase an item or two, or allow their creativity to spark yours in a completely new direction.

First up, is this festive leaf-shaped confetti by theemae74. Use it to decorate your table, fill a holiday note with an unexpected bonus, or use it in your latest scrapbook. At $1.20 for a minimum of 100 leafs, you can’t go too far wrong.


Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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