Merry 2016 Christmas Cards and a Happy New Year!


Happy New Year friends!
It’s always fun getting used to a new date, and new numbers, and re-writing a few checks because I put 2016 on there (if any of you even write checks anymore??)

But yay!  It’s 2017.  I hope you had a great December.
I spent most of the month NOT blogging—as you may have noticed—and just enjoyed spending time with the family.  We went on a road trip to Branson, MO, driving through Oklahoma and Arkansas.   And stopping at this stunning church was probably the highlight for me.  Wow.  What a gem.
I hope your family had some fun adventures as well.  And if you stayed inside with cookies and puzzles, that sounds perfect too.

As usual, I’m sharing our Christmas card in January.  But hey, at least it says Happy New Year on there right?
Or rather…a JUICY new year.
christmas-cards-on-made-everyday-1-2 christmas-cards-on-made-everyday-1-12The theme this year was Merry Picnic—because summer is my favorite season.
And because, everyone dressed up in gingham???
Is a YES. christmas-cards-on-made-everyday-1christmas-cards-on-made-everyday-1-5I made the Everyday Neckties for the boys, an Anywhere skirt for me, this dress for Clara, and the rest we had in our closets.  I’ll have to do a follow-up post on the dress and skirt because you know…..checkers! And clothes!

I really wanted to use this pic for the card…


Or this.
Real life
But you know it’s a tricky design balance, picking the right pic for the front, that coordinates with the back, and one of the pics should probably be a real “normal” pic.

So we went with this:
christmas-cards-on-made-everyday-1-8 christmas-cards-on-made-everyday-1-9
Here’s how we’ve done our cards the past few years:
• My brother took our family pictures (free!)
• I designed the cards in Illustrator (sort of free)
• We printed using this template at Costco (great price).

And there you go!  It can get pricey sending cards out each year, which is why I love doing it this way.  And really,  I just love doing the Holiday Cards thing, and designing it, and addressing them (some years Lucy helps me, but this year she was busy with school projects).
You can see our cards from other years here:
2013 (tangerines), 2014 (merry red), 2015 (mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again…or rather, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas)
Of course I love receiving pictures and updates from our friends and family!  The wall of cards in the house is always a highlight for the holidays.

This year I tried some fancy lettering on some of the envelopes.  I didn’t do it on every card….but I wish I had time to because it’s GREAT handlettering practice!  I highly recommend it.

And just like that, it’s back to work and 2017.
This year I’ve got some patterns in the works, more fabric collections, and my new Fiesta Fun Fabrics are IN STORES now!  Check out the full line up here.
(Guess I need to do an updated post on that too).
I know my blogging life has morphed over the years and I’m not on here as much as I used to be.  But I still read and enjoy all your comments and try to respond back.  If there’s something you’d really like to see this year, let me know!
Happy New Year from our family to

Almond Berry Linzer Cookies


I have always wanted to make these cookies.
And I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to give it a go??
They’re so beautiful, like little stained glass windows.
And they’re amazingly delicious.


They’re the kind of cookies that make your house smell like Christmas.
And put a smile on every kid (and husband’s) face.
Yep.  That’s what these are all about.


I guess the reason I finally ventured out and tried these gorgeous cookies is because Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening asked me to share a holiday recipe with you.  So I tried something new.

I already use Crisco® for the Never Fail Pie Crust recipe,
I use it in my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies,
and also in the Gingerbread Softies (Dang.  Are the holidays here yet??  I need all of these).


So I already know how amazing Crisco® works in baked goods.  It really gives cookies that light-and-crisp-but-still-soft kind of touch.  It’s hard to describe—-it’s just that magic of Crisco®!
And I LOVE the Crisco® butter-flavor baking sticks because it makes the process even easier.  For this recipe, you just toss one stick in. EASY.


(makes appx. 2 dozen cookies)

1 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening (or 1 cup of Crisco)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp almond extract

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ground almonds (optional)

Berry jams
Powdered sugar for dusting

Beat the first four ingredients in a bowl with an electric mixer for one minute.
In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.  The ground almonds are optional, but they are SO good in there—they add a lot of flavor.  To create the ground almonds, I took a small package of sliced almonds and ground them in my food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, just crunch them up with your hands or use a mallet over a bag.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix, just until incorporated.  Try not to over mix.

Work in small batches and roll the dough onto a floured surface, till it’s fairly thin.  It’s important to work in small batches so your dough doesn’t become oversaturated with flour and become heavy.  You want to it stay light and soft.  I also prefer to roll the dough as thin as possible without it breaking, since you are going to sandwich two cookies together in the end.  This makes for a lighter cookie if you can roll them thin.


Use a cookie cutter to cut out many stars. You can use other shapes too, I just like the look of stars, but they’re definitely more fragile to work with! Use a metal spatula to transfer the stars to a baking sheet.   Then use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out a smaller star from the center, on half of the cookies.  Remove the smaller star with a toothpick.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
Allow the cookies to cook.  Then comes the fun part…

Use your favorite berry jams to create the little “stained glass” windows.  I used homemade Strawberry Jam, Blackberry, and some other berry mixes.  It looks so pretty to use a variety of colors.  Maybe I should throw jalapeno jelly in there for a real holiday mix!


Spread a small amount of jam in the center of each full star.  You don’t need a lot of jam, or it will drip over the side.

Then dust the cut-out cookies with powdered sugar.  Place them on a baking sheet or plate to do this—and shake a small strainer filled with powdered sugar over the top.  Then place each window cookie on top of a jam cookie and carefully sandwich them together.


And you’re done!
Mmmm.  I can smell these all over again.


And I definitely won’t admit how many I ate while preparing this blog post.
Of course every bit started with,  “I’ll just eat one point of the star”…and ended with me having to try every flavor in the mix.
Hooray for the holidays!  And hooray for Crisco!


You can connect with Crisco® on Facebook and Pinterest.
For more recipe ideas, check out the RECIPES tab at the top.

And be sure to visit the Crisco Brand Page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Video: How to Gather Fabric, the proper way


Hunting and gathering. The life of a fabric lover, right??
The hunting part is fun and comes easily to most of us. Haah.
But gathering?  That can be a different story.

How to Gather & Ruffle fabric the proper way by MADE Everyday

There are so many different sewing projects that require gathering:
• Sleeves
, such as the puffed sleeve option on the Everyday Sweatshirt, or the Texas Dress.
Necklines, like the ones on many peasant blouses.
Blankets, like this tutorial here.
Basically, anywhere there’s a ruffle, gathering is involved.
How to Gather & Ruffle fabric the proper way by MADE Everyday

But probably the most popular use is for a gathered skirt with attached waistband (also called a dirndl skirt).  And the same concept is used on many dresses, except instead of being stitched onto a waistband, the gathered skirt is attached directly to the bodice.

How to Gather & Ruffle fabric the proper way by MADE Everyday

Sometimes gathering can be a pain. It can be difficult to control the gathers to make them even. And worse — a broken thread can mean having to start from scratch. Uggggh.
So let me show you the proper technique for the ultimate control, precision, and gathery goodness.
Just hit the play button below!

Now that you’re a gathering whiz, you might like to give the Anywhere Skirt a whirl. It takes the dirndl concept and adds some cool details — sash, button placket… POCKETS. Make your skirts any length! You’ll use this pattern over and over again to create loads of different looks.

Anywhere Skirt sewing pattern from MADE Everyday

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create everyday items you will love and use.

To watch other episodes:
• Click to the VIDEO page OR
• Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.