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!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Two more fun Christmas fabrics!

Snow Magic
 Today I'm going to share scans of two more of the Christmas fabrics I recently purchased.  One I got from Walmart,  primarily because it was a nifty small print with sort of a vintage look. 

With its unusual color palette of gold, brown and red, it will go with other, plainer fabrics in my stash.  The little motifs include deer, trees, sleighs, ornaments, candy canes and more.  I regret that I don't know the name of this fabric.

The other fabric was part of my recent purchase from to finish off my $125 gift certificate.  I could no longer find the fabric on their site, although they did offer a couple of other coordinating items.  But I did find it here: Snow Magic.

I love this scene!  To me, it really looks like Vermont.  For one thing, there are sugarhouses near a couple of the pictured homes, and backyard sugarhouses are pretty common in Vermont and New Hampshire.  The other thing that makes me think the artist was depicting a Vermont scene is the slantwise upstairs windows on a couple of the houses.  From what I understand, it was pretty common to place a window slantwise in a space where a window would not otherwise fit, in an upstairs room.  I imagine this is true, because a good many old houses in Vermont (and some in New Hampshire, Maine, and probably the other New England states as well) have these slantwise windows.  Good old Yankee ingenuity!

This is such a fun fabric although I have no idea yet what I will do with it.  Maybe just a simple table runner, to showcase the design.  We will see!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One more Christmas poem

This tiny card is from my personal collection.
Here is another Christmas poem from The Blessings of Christmas, one of my attic finds.  This is a lovely poem by Georgia B. Adams which could be a heartfelt prayer for our friends, rather than merely a wish. 


What do I wish you this Christmas?
    Above all, I wish you peace ...
A peace of heart and soul and mind
    That will with each day increase.

I wish you a tranquil spirit,
    Trusting in God above,
The joy of knowing His presence
   And deep abiding love.

I wish you a calm composure,
    Peace of mind unsurpassed;
I wish you faithful friendships -- 
    That will forever last.

What do I wish you for Christmas?
    Peace may you find alway;
May this be the gift that fills your life,
    On Christmas and every day.
~ Georgia B. Adams

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

Photo from Taste of Home
Always on the lookout for new Christmas cookie recipes to try, I came upon this one in a back December issue of Country magazine: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints.  The recipe looks fairly simple although there are several steps to it:  baking cookies; making a filling and filling the indentations; then melting chocolate and adding a chocolate drizzle.  (I'm getting hungry just writing this!)  I do have several other recipes that incorporate the same number of steps, and it's not difficult work, but you just can't be in a hurry.

I think this would be a perfect cookie for a cookie exchange, as it is quite different and looks delicious.  I'm thinking too that eliminating the drizzle and sprinkling the caramel with coarse salt instead might make a nice salted caramel variation.  Definitely a want-to-try cookie for this season.  Too bad it's too hot to bake or I might fire up the oven right now!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rudolph Day for July

An illustration from Jolly Old Santa Claus, one of my favorite childhood books
 Yes, today is July 25 -- Rudolph Day for July!  For today, I thought I would share a quote.  This idea comes from Jennifer Acuff and was quoted in the "Country Woman Almanac" pages in the June/July 2009 issue of Country Woman magazine.  Here it is:

"Our family beats the summer heat by celebrating Christmas in July.  We stay inside all day watching our favorite holiday movies, making stocking stuffers, decking the halls and eating a Christmas dinner.  The festivities end with reading the Nativity story and munching homemade cookies."
-- Jennifer Acuff, Monterey, TN

Isn't that a neat idea?

My own Rudolph Day is going to include some errands and busyness, but I also hope to take some time to look over my Christmas notebook and do some planning and tweaking of my Christmas lists, simplifying them a bit.  Maybe I'll do a little online shopping for some necessary materials for handmade gifts.  We will see!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A nice idea for Christmas breakfast

Photo from Taste of Home
I don't know about you, but I am always looking for good ideas for Christmas breakfast.  We keep it very, very simple -- usually an egg bake of some kind; muffins, coffeecake or sweet rolls; and fruit.  This is the sort of breakfast I always served Christmas morning when our family was young and all still at home.  I felt it was important to have something hearty and healthy to balance out all of the excitement and sweets.  I love to make egg casseroles because they can be prepared the night before and simply baked in the morning.  I usually make the baked goods ahead too and simply reheat them, although if it is a very simple coffeecake, I might bake it that morning.

Now it is nearly always just my hubby and me at home for Christmas breakfast.  That's just fine with us; our children have their own families and we believe it's very important for them to have their own holiday traditions.  We would be the last people to ever insist our kids must be with us for Christmas.  We actually enjoy our own empty-nest traditions and we don't mind at all having Christmas breakfast on our own.  (And of course we would not mind having company, either.)

I recently came upon this recipe:Scrambled Egg Spinach Casserole and it looks delicious.  I think it will be this year's Christmas morning breakfast entree.  Maybe you would like to give it a try, too!