Monday, September 05, 2016

A sweet little vintage note card

This tiny note card is the sweetest thing.  It is of thin paper, almost parchment-like.  If you look closely at my scan of it, you can almost see the handwriting showing through it.  It was a little note to my parents from my father's Auntie Marge.  She was reminding them that they had agreed not to exchange Christmas gifts with her that year.  I'm guessing that may have been her first year as a widow, but I am not sure.  I'm also guessing that this tiny note was enclosed in her Christmas card to them, most likely sent early in the season so she would be sure they didn't plan on getting her a gift.  People were much more polite and thoughtful in those days, it seems to me.

This dear little card has lovely poinsettias and evergreen sprigs, and the silver filigree is embossed, as are the tiny snowflakes and a few of the fir sprigs.  So pretty!  Hope you have enjoyed this little bit of vintage Christmas memorabilia.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Thinking out loud ...

From a sweet calendar my girls loved as children.  So thankful I thought to scan the illustrations!
So I'm just thinking out loud here.  My dear hubby, Mr. T, told me some time ago (in fact, it was probably last December) that he didn't want me to be all tired out this coming Christmas.  To that end, he was establishing a deadline by which all handmade Christmas gifts must be completed (other than cookies, fudge, or other kitchen gifts).  The deadline is December 1st, and has been written on the calendar from Day 1 of 2016.

Some may see that as heavy-handed, but I know that he has my best good in mind.  He has always been very willing to pitch in with other things while I work on the handmade gifts.  He hates seeing me get so tired, however.  So I've been willing to work with that very reasonable deadline on the calendar.  After all, that's always been one of the main reasons I work on handmade gifts and Christmas preparations year round -- to free up December so I can really enjoy Christmas!

A couple of weeks ago I was challenged by something another blogger wrote about the importance of saying No to good things.  In that post, the blogger, Christa, linked to a fall planning workbook she was using. (It's free, so you might want to download one for yourself!)  As I thought, just a little bit, of what my summer has been like, and about what I want my autumn to look like, I began to seriously think about not doing handmade gifts (other than kitchen gifts) for the family this year.  For awhile I've been considering making the handmade gifts for birthdays, and giving consumable family gifts at Christmas.  I do have a few handmade things started for this year, and will finish them up.  And  I'll definitely be creating a few handmade things for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Beyond that, I haven't decided for sure yet.  I'll let you know!

But regardless of what I decide, I do plan to be here in the Christmas kitchen just as often as possible, and I'll have plenty of recipes along with crafting and decorating inspiration to share.  I'll stop in again very soon!

Friday, August 05, 2016

A couple of pretty 1970s cards

This card features both knitting and embroidery.
 First, I'd like to thank all of my readers and blog friends who stopped by to visit my Christmas kitchen during Christmas in July!  It was a great mental health booster for me to spend that time in my Christmas kitchen, and I'm thankful for all of you who visited and left comments.  So thank you!  Now, to the topic at hand ...

I may be all wrong about this, but from my limited observations of greeting cards in recent decades, it seems that the 1970s -- as the United States approached and then observed its bicentennial, were a time to re-emphasize traditional handcrafts.  A number of the cards I've seen from the 70s reflect this.  Here are a couple of examples I've recently found.

The mitten card at the top of the post features a knitted mitten embellished with embroidery.  To me it looks as if the mitten may have been sewed from a repurposed sweater.  A veritable sampler of embroidery stitches adorn the mitten, from simple cross stitches and chain stitch on the cuff, to satin, chain, and straight stitches, plus French knots, on the hand part of the mitten.  I like the design of poinsettias, holly, and snowflakes and am thinking it was no small challenge to stitch these on the cable-knitted mitten.  Very unique and pretty.
This one features embroidery and applique.
Then I also found the card above.  This one has applique beautifully embellished with embroidery, and features a cross-stitch border around the edge of the design.  If you'd like to see more of the detail, remember that you can double-click on the picture to enlarge it.  I love the sprigs of fir and holly (especially the fir) tucked in with the poinsettias.  How I'd love to duplicate this!  But I have so many want-to-make projects already that this one probably won't get done anytime soon.  Maybe I will frame the card and enjoy it that way.  We will see!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

One last vintage card

For our last day of Christmas in July, I'm sharing another vintage card from the 1970s.  This is just a simple card from a boxed assortment, but I liked many things about it. 

The verse, of course, is a familiar one:

"Somehow, not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
is the joy that comes back to you."

But I like the swirly trim on the edges of the design that give a definite 1970s vibe to the card.  I also like the pretty candy jars with the red and white peppermint candies against the card's red background. 

Hope you've enjoyed this card as well.  Thanks for visiting my Christmas kitchen for Christmas in July!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Eggnog Oatmeal Cookies

Photo from Kleinworth and Co.
 One last cookie recipe: Eggnog Oatmeal Cookies from Gina at Kleinworth and Co..

 This is one I've had pinned to my Christmas Cookie Exchange! board for while.  It appealed to me because it elevates an ordinary oatmeal cookie to the special status of a Christmas cookie. I loved the fact that the glaze actually contains eggnog.   I mistakenly thought I hadn't gotten around to trying this cookie recipe, but guess what?

The list doesn't lie!  It was on my Christmas baking list -- the recipes I actually did make -- in 2014!  You can see where I've marked off the boxes by the recipes that were actually made.  Eggnog Oatmeal Cookies are about 2/3 of the way down on the list.  Now that my memory has been jogged (it pays to keep lists and a Christmas notebook!) I do recall that these cookies were very tasty.  I think my husband is probably the one who baked the cookies (he's helpful like that when he has the time) and that's why I didn't remember baking them.  I do have a page in my Christmas notebook for "recipes to try" in which I note when we tried a certain recipe and how we liked it, but with Mr. T doing much of the baking the past few years, that kind of went by the wayside. 

Planning to make these cookies again in 2016!  I think they'd also be pretty with a few Christmas sprinkles atop the glazed area of the cookie.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Peruse my Pinterest boards!

I seem to be adding more Christmas Pinterest boards on a pretty regular basis.  Throughout this month I've shared a few links to my boards, but I haven't mentioned all of them by any means.  So I thought I would do so now.  First off is my Christmas board, the first Christmas board I created. This one has a little bit of everything, from recipes to trees to gift and decorating ideas.  Lots of fun stuff here!

I will add the others in no particular order.  Here we go!

There's my Vintage Christmas board.  It has so many nostalgic delights that bring back memories from my childhood!
Here's an example:
Vintage Christmas carol booklet from my personal collection
Then there's a related board, Christmas cards and sentiments, which contains many beautiful cards and related things like the greetings and small designs inside them.

 This is a favorite of mine and you may well find cards on both of the above boards too.  Below is a favorite card from my own collection:

You would probably also like to visit my Christmas Decorating Inspiration board.

A visit to this board always inspires me and I'm sure it will do the same for others.

The Advent Calendars and Christmas Countdowns 

board has quite a number of intriguing ideas.  Sometimes I pin things from my own blog so I will not forget where to find pictures of my projects.  The Advent countdown below is a project I made some years ago.  I made three of these.  They were a Gooseberry Patch craft idea and fun to do.
My Kitchen Gifts board has loads of ideas that work well for friends, family and neighbors.

I've already mentioned my Christmas Cookie Exchange! board this month.

Then there is a board for Christmas hospitality

and one for Christmas breakfast.

Whether you're looking for a Christmas devotional to bless your own quiet time or to share with others, you're sure to find something on my Christmas devotionals board.

You can also find help for your  Christmas planning and preparation.  Who couldn't use some new and proven ideas in that department?
Then there's my Crafting for Christmas board

and my previously mentioned Christmas Fabric Stash board,

as well as the Gift wrap and tags to make board.

Not all of the wrappings on this board are for Christmas, but you'll find some fun ideas there.

So take some time to peruse my Christmas Pinterest boards.  Inspiration is guaranteed!   In fact, you will find further inspiration on many of my boards, whether sewing projects, handmade gifts, crochet, fun with felt --- I can't take time to link to all of them, so  check out these boards for yourself, okay?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Christmas trees on vehicles

Photo from It All Started with Paint
I don't think the interest in decorative items featuring Christmas trees tied to vehicles is going away anytime soon.  It's definitely not going anywhere as far as I'm concerned.  I always look forward every year to spotting the first Christmas tree tied to a car top.   In fact, living where we do, we are very apt to see large tractor-trailer loads of Christmas trees headed south from northern New Hampshire or Maine.  Of course we tend to see those long before Thanksgiving -- and Thanksgiving afternoon is usually the first time we will see a Christmas tree atop a car or in the back of a truck.

I've saved a bunch of car-top Christmas tree ideas to my various Christmas boards on Pinterest, and thought I would share a few of them today.  First, the one that's probably my favorite, the ornament pictured at the top of the post.  Linda shares the tutorial at It All Started with Paint.  I am seriously thinking of making some of these if I can find nifty-looking vehicles that are small enough to fit inside the ornaments. 

The other ideas are in no particular order, and I'll give credit where it's due and links to the various blogs so you can check them out for yourselves.  So next is a fun idea for using a tree in a toy truck as a table centerpiece.  This is from Christy at Our Southern Home.
Photo from Our Southern Home
Here's another truck idea, this one from Faye at Wild Rose Vintage.  I love the way Faye has added more trees with shiny baubles and surrounded the truck with vintage ornaments. I think we have a toy truck around that's somewhat similar to this.  Maybe ...
Photo by Wild Rose Vintage
We'll continue with the truck theme, I guess.  Check out this pretty idea from Malia at Yesterday on Tuesday.  Love the wreath on the front of the pickup truck!  You can't tell by looking at this picture below, but this truck and its surrounding scene are inside a large cake dome atop a white cake plate.  Very pretty!
Photo from Yesterday on Tuesday
Here's one last truck idea -- love this one!  It's from Vicky, from Life on Willie Mae Lane.  She has loads of wonderful decorating ideas in this post!
Photo from Life on Willie Mae Lane
Now we'll shift back to cars for a minute.  Up next is a car with tree terrarium shared by Jen at City Farmhouse.  I like the way she uses a slice of birch tree, complete with bark, as the base.  Very creative and different!
Photo from City Farmhouse
The next idea is a fun and whimsical find from Vicky at Life on Willie Mae Lane.

Photo from Life on Willie Mae Lane
 I wouldn't mind finding a set of these plates -- as Vicky did -- somewhere!  She found hers at Tuesday Morning.

Here's a fun vignette from Kimberley at Seaside Ave.
Photo from Seaside Ave
 There's a lot going on in this scene, but I love it!

Next is a nifty centerpiece put together by Mary Beth at Cupcakes and Crinoline.

Photo from Cupcakes and Crinoline
This one also has a lot going on, but it's festive and different.  I like the wrapped packages and the candy canes and evergreen sprigs!

And now for something very different: Thoughts from Alice shares an adorable printable Christmas village including ... yes, you guessed it! Printable Christmas trees on cars!  There is much more to the printable village than what you see below, but it's a sample of the delightful artwork.
Photo by Thoughts from Alice
Isn't it cute?  I need to print out one of these.  I'm one of those people who has never outgrown things like cutting, pasting, and coloring.  And I have no plans to outgrow it.

Just two more.  These are a bit unusual.  The first one does not contain a tree on the vehicle at all, but it could.  One could easily put a tree or trees in the trailer rather than the cargo of ornaments.  This is a vignette by Robin from Happy at Home.   I'm pretty sure my kids had a tractor like this, but it may or may not have been painted blue...

Photo from Happy at Home
You will want to check out Robin's entire post; there are some fantastic decorating ideas here!

My last feature is this whimsical idea from Diane at An Extraordinary Day

Photo from An Extraordinary Day
Diane has a real flair for creating vignettes, and this one is unusual and fun, with Santa in a bumper car bringing home the tree atop a vintage camper.

Hope you've enjoyed these fun ideas!