Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rudolph Day for September

Isn't this so pretty?  It's a cross-stitched  effect from a "calendar" card from the 1960s or 1970s -- I'm guessing the latter.  My scan is so detailed that I could actually make a cross-stitch from this design if I so chose.
Unbelievably, Rudolph Day for September is here!  Do not ask me where the time has gone.  I have been so busy, mostly with spending part of time each day out of the house for eldercare responsibilities.  I had a simple, simple gift tag project (involving hot glue, some embellishments, and silver thread) planned for August -- I estimated it would probably only take about 15 minutes to make a dozen tags.  Well, somehow I didn't even find fifteen extra minutes.  How lame.

So when I thought about Rudolph Day coming up again this week, I thought that of course I would complete that project today.  It's not happening...

Instead, I decided I would at least crack open the door to the Christmas Kitchen and just give a quick little update.  In view of how busy my life has become,  I'm planning just one handcrafted gift per grandchild this year ... very simple projects, all using the same pattern but different themes.  We will see  how that goes.  I'm finding that some of the components aren't as easy to locate as they used to be, but have bought some online and am almost ready to start on the first gift.  (I don't want to be more specific, as some of the recipients (or their moms!) read my blog. 

Guess I'd better close the kitchen door and order some more materials now.  Hope all of you are having a more productive Rudolph Day than I am!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Another vintage kids' book -- THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

You can see this book was well loved!
Today I want to quickly share another of my childhood Christmas books.  I finally found a few minutes this summer to scan some of my favorites.

This one is simply the classic The Night Before Christmas poem by Clement C. Moore.  This Little Golden Book version was published in 1949.  What is really special about it is the lovely illustrations by Corinne Malvern.  There is a little bio of her in the front of the book: "Corinne Malvern has excelled in two of the arts.  She was a successful child actress, then studied art, and has since exhibited her work and done commercial art.  She has illustrated ... many of the Little Golden Books."

Since the poem was  written in 1822, the artist opens the book with an illustration depicting a calendar page from December 1822.

Don't you love it?
I scanned this page because it was easiest, being first in the book, but also because it's my favorite.  I love the little house and the falling snow by lantern light!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vintage kids' book ~ The Most Beautiful Tree in the World

This book was one of my favorite Christmas stories as a child.  It is a Wonder Book and, sadly, gives no credit to either the author or illustrator.  All it says is that the story was originally published in Family Circle magazine in 1954 and was copyrighted as a Wonder Book in 1956.

The book tells the story of children living on a farm and the beautiful gigantic spruce tree on their property.  The tree is sold and carried away by helicopter to become the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.  Andy and Ellen get to go to the city and see their tree in all its glory.  The story ends happily with a new little spruce tree being planted in place of the large one, and the promise that it too may one day be the most beautiful tree in the world.
Andy and Ellen's first sight of the helicopter passing over their farm
The story is fun and the illustrations absolutely fabulous.  If you can find a copy, this little book is well worth having in your Christmas book collection.

Monday, August 18, 2014

An attic find

As I've mentioned a few times, I've been doing some clearing out at my dad's home.  Not things that he sees and uses daily; just things in the storage areas, of which there are many.  While working in the attic back in June, I came upon this find:

It's an interesting-looking book, although the stories I've glanced at don't seem to be anything wonderful.  (In fact, they seem a little strange.)

The book's title is
 A Parlor Companion,

How's that for  all-inclusive?  I couldn't find a copyright date (or even an author's name; it seems the stories may have been written by a number of different authors, though I can't be sure).

However, the book was a gift from "Aunt Lizzie", and is inscribed "Merry Christmas, December 25, 1892."  That, and the fact that it will be a nice addition to my Christmas decorating, made me decide to hang on to the book, at least for now.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Down the Lane to Christmas

A favorite vintage card from my collection
Here is one last lovely poem by Mildred L. Jarrell.  Oh, the memories it brings!

Down the Lane to Christmas

Down the lane to Christmas
Mid fields adrift with snow,
I can see the old familiar home 
With windows all aglow.

I can hear the Christmas music
Carried o'er the frosty air,
And picture home folks singing
Round the organ by the stair.

The yule log will be burning
Near the tinseled Christmas tree,
And I hasten with a yearning
Towards the ones that wait for me.

Though the road is long I've traveled
Sure my heart no more will roam,
For down the lane to Christmas,
My heart is nearly home.
~ Mildred L. Jarrell

I hope you've all enjoyed this simple Christmas in July as much as I have.  It's been fun for me and a nice break from my everyday responsibilities.  See you in August!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A fun last-minute handmade gift

Photo by Raising up Rubies
I admit it ... I am slow, slow, slow when it comes to catching up with blogs I follow by email.  Sometimes I read the posts I get by email right away.  Other times, especially when I'm very busy, they just stack up in my Inbox without being read.  But I save them to read later ... you can easily see why I have over a thousand emails in my Inbox at any given time.  When I finally do get around to looking at these blog posts, I nearly always find something I want to pin or save.    That's the case with this fun last-minute gift from Jaime at Raising up Rubies.

This Peppermint in a Jar gift is so simple yet so much fun, with a couple of handmade touches to make it impressive.  Jaime's creative fingerprints are all over it.  Go on over and check it out ... I'll let you get the details and the helpful photos from her.

Have fun with this idea!  I plan to make some of these!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chocolate Nut Fudge

Photo from Taste of Home
Can you use one more fudge recipe?  This one, Chocolate Nut Fudge, which I saw in the December 2000 issue of Country Woman magazine, looks like a classic and a keeper.  It sounds simple to make, and I like the fact that it uses both milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips.  It also calls for large marshmallows rather than marshmallow cream, and I like the idea of that -- more vintage-y, somehow. 

I'm planning to give this one a try.  In my book, you can never have too many recipes for kitchen gifts!