20 December 2015

Decorating for Christmas

I love making these Hexagon Fabric Tray's, they are a quick and easy sew up project.  The tutorial for how to make them can be found on A Spoonful of Sugar Blog! Her hexagon tray template makes the small sized hexagon, the large size comes from my article in The Make Modern Magazine Issue 8 for my Hexagon Pouch.
My kids and I sewed up these pouches, again another fairly simple sew.
For the medium sized hexagon I just made a template in between my large hexagon and A Spoonful of Sugar small hexagon shape (I will try to have links to both the large size and medium size below, but I am not very computer literate when it comes to doing that kind of thing) The large hexagon measures 5" on each side, it works great with layer cake's, the medium size is 4" on each side.

My kids think that an elf comes in the night to fill up the advent calendar, this is what he has been bringing, chocolate coins and Rabbids figurines, and a few markers.
We also have this beautiful wooden tree, that is decorated with small ornaments, the kids love putting them on and taking them off, and yes we are already missing 2, I'm sure I will find them eventually.
This gorgeous fabric advent calendar that can be used year after year and that I will pass down to my children so they can use it for my some day grandkids is a pattern from Anne Boundy of Said with Love.  More pictures can be found here.
I will be working on a way to get the PDF file up for the larger and medium sized hexagons, if you want them immediately send me an e-mail, grecomara at gmail dot com I am able to forward the pattern since it is a friend you made it up for me in the first place, see not so good with the computer.

Linking to QuiltShopGal for the #NightsBeforeChristmasParty

16 December 2015

Le Challenge - Space

"Space, the final frontier"
Oh wait, that's Star Trek and not Star Wars, Sorry don't want to offend any Trekies or Warsies (what are Star Wars fans called, Chewbaccas?)
I love, love Le Challenge, it is such a great way to get out and make something, like this Star Wars themed toy bag for my son.  It was on my sewing Christmas list, but of course I am getting really down to the last minute in sewing these gifts up, but with the help of Le Challenge, I have it done today, and you would think from the way I am sounding it took ages to do, actually it only took 5 minutes, seriously 5 minute, well plus another 5 to iron, so let's say 10 minutes.
I'm upcycling, isn't that fun, this tank shirt Nik has worn since he was 2, I have a ton of pictures of him in it, so I find it adorable that I get to re-use it as something he can stick the little parts of his soon to be New Christmas Gift.
I trimmed the bottom of the tank top to make it even and then sewed it together, I wrapped the star wars fabric around the tank and cut 1 inch longer on the bottom and on one side 1 inch bigger, then I sewed it right sides together at 1/2", turned it inside out and placed it over the tank top.  I turned down the top, 1/2" and sewed it down to the tank, easy peasy!
It will hang nicely on the end of his bed.
He requested a Castle from Santa, and we bought this huge set up for 20euros, of course I think it will all break within a day or two, but my husband says that is fine.  There are a lot of little parts, so this Star Wars bag will help minimize the amount of SPACE this toy will need.
Linking up to Le Challenge for this months theme, Space!

14 December 2015

SMS Giveaway Winners and Cookie Recipes

Hello Everyone that decided to stop by again, Thank you to all of the new followers following.
The cookie most people enjoyed most is the Chocolate Chip Cookie, hands down :)

Here are the 2 Greek Christmas Cookies that we eat in our family!

My MIL made these, they are very delicious, and she always makes them in a crescent shape.
I found the Kourabiedes history so interesting, because you can find this cookie World Wide, just by different names, some of the other common names are the Russian Teacake and the Mexican Wedding cookie, read some more and other interesting places you can find it, here on Wikipedia.

This is the recipe my MIL uses from an old Greek Magazine, I have translated it for you. 

2 cups of real butter (or 4 sticks)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. of Vanilla
2 Tbsp. of Baking Powder
1/2 cup Cognac or Brandy (we use Metaxa Cognac here)
3 cups Flour (may need more)
1 cup chopped walnuts (most recipes use almonds so you can use those as well)
Lots of Powdered Sugar (for sprinkling)

  1. Cream Butter and Sugar well until it turns white, 
  2.  add in eggs, Vanilla, Baking Powder and Cognac, Mix, 
  3. then slowly add in Flour until firm and then mix in nuts.
Bake for 15 minutes until light golden brown, don't over cook 
While still warm roll in powdered sugar and after they have cooled put even more powdered sugar on them and enjoy.

My son's favorite cookie is the Melomakarona,  (look at that even this one is on Wiki, haha!) I actually also love any cookie or cake that is soaked in honey water.  This is a really good recipe, but I would suggest using regular corn or sunflower oil rather than the olive oil suggested, I realize that might not sound very Greek of me, but Olive oil in Baking isn't such a great idea, of course this is my personal opinion.  Melomakarona A Greek Christmas Cookie

Some other cookie recipes that readers suggested as there favorite
Butter Rich Spritz Butter Cookies
Anginetti (Italian Lemon Drop Cookies)
One reader said her favorite cookie was a Kolache, had to look that one up and this recipe looks really delicious, Cream Cheese Kolacky
Jolien sent me this recipe, for a cake cookie, YUM, talking about getting the best of both worlds, Cake and Cookies!  Eierkoeken
Jessica sent me a cookie recipe for World Peace , now wouldn't it be nice if we could have World Peace just by baking cookies!

I hope you get to do some baking this holiday season, I know I will try out at least one or two of these recipes.

The winner of the Tin full of Charms is Judy!  Congratulations.

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09 December 2015

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway - Fabric

Welcome to Mara Creates on your next stop for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! My name is Mara and I am an American living in Greece with my Greek/Australian husband and our 2 children, I sew to keep my sanity, how about you?

I look forward to this week twice a year and I know you have many places to swing by, today I am giving away a tin Full of charm fabrics cut by me.  These are not my fugly fabrics, oh no, I am giving you some of my favorite fabrics, text prints, low volume, Alison Glass and then your choice of "Weeds" by Me and My Sister or  "Color Me Happy" by V & Co.
Are you on Instagram?  Did you see the recent hashtag #getyourquiltywishesgranted  It is such a fun hashtag and I granted a few wishes, one girl wanted some text prints and strawberry prints, one wanted some low volume prints and another some Alison glass and another a few charms to make charity quilts.  SO while I was cutting up those request I cut up a few more for YOU!

I am giving away one tin this week, here my blog and the other on my IG account, next week, @mara.creates , follow to see when that one happens, I also have another giveaway on there right now from Monday and it ends Monday December 14th.

Next year I am hosting a Year long Sew Along from the book "Sew Fantasy Toys" written by Melanie McNeice , she also designs fabric under the name Melly and Me.  It will be a nice and easy Sew Along, with Giveaways each month, if you are interested, leave your e-mail HERE and I will send out an e-mail with more information closer to the end of this month.

Entering this Giveaway is Easy, Use the Rafflecopter below, so I am sure to have your e-mail address and in the comments
Tell me your favorite cookie and come back next week to see who won this Giveaway and get the recipes for these 2 Greek Christmas Cookies, Melomakarona and Kourabiedes, *cookies will not be included in with the fabric for this giveaway, I am so sorry :(  I will ship Internationally cause, HELLO, I am International :)
My favorite cookie is the Sugar Cookie with frosting on top, like the ones they sale in Grocery stores in the States, yummy!

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