Monday, May 31, 2010

Vintage paper bell

Years ago, my grandmother, who has now passed on, gave me a box of vintage paper goods -- place mats, table cloths, centerpieces, cardboard cutouts of Pilgrims and Easter bunnies, etc. In the box was a green honeycomb paper bell. I remember seeing bells like this at my grandmother's home in the 1950s. I didn't use the bell, though, because it was missing the little clips that hold it in position. Finally I realized, a year or two ago, that green paper clips would work just fine for the purpose. And they do!

My granddaughters made the red paper chain this past Christmas, and I thought it made a great addition to the green bell.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Over the river and through the wood

Here is one of my very favorite ornaments. It was painted by my friend Marilyn many years ago. The pattern was from a Country Handcrafts magazine. It could be done on a ball-shaped glass ornament as she did, or could also be painted on a wooden circle. The wooden circle is the easier option, and is what I chose to do when I made one of these ornaments as a gift for someone. Either way, these ornaments are so pretty!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot Chocolate gift idea

Found this picture in my "Blog Posts in Progress" folder and thought I would share. It's a couple of jars of my homemade hot chocolate mix just waiting to be tucked in a gift box or basket. You can find the recipe by typing "hot chocolate mix" into the search box at the top of this blog. These cute jars are from the dollar store!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Holly Leaf Cookies

I decided to share this recipe (not sure if I've posted it before or not) because it is the same basic cookie recipe as the one pictured on the recipe card in the preceding post. I just adapted it to make holly leaf cookies. The recipe is from my dear friend Marilyn's mom, Fran. It is a wonderful cut-out cookie recipe!


1/2 cup solid shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) real margarine
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon orange extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
Green food coloring
Cinnamon red-hot candies
Green decorating sugar

Combine the shortening, margarine, sugar, salt, flavoring and eggs in a large mixing bowl; beat well. Add flour and mix well. Mix in enough green food coloring to tint dough light green. Cover dough and chill thoroughly.

On a floured surface, roll a small portion of the chilled dough about 1/4-inch thick. Cut with a holly leaf cookie cutter. Place leaf shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Trim each cookie with 1 or 2 cinnamon red-hot candies for holly berries, placing the candies at the stem end of the holly leaf. Sprinkle each cookie with green decorating sugar.

Bake in a preheated 375ยบ oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Repeat process with remaining dough.

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutter used.

Decorating my kitchen island for Christmas

My kitchen "island" -- actually a repurposed shaker-style (but formica-topped) desk made for me by my dad -- is one of my favorite places to decorate in my Christmas kitchen. The past few years, I've done some variations on this theme.

The little table topper is simply a hemmed piece of fabric with a baking theme. The large Mitford teacup is filled with Christmas cookie cutters. The little rolling pin recipe holder was a gift from my granddaughters, and the cookie recipe is from a dear friend. Cookies are yummy too!

The vintage cookbooklet is like one my mother used to have, which I remember poring over avidly at Christmas time. I bought this one at a book sale some years ago.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Better late than never

I came across some photos of our 2009 Christmas tree in my "blog posts in progress" folder. Since today is Rudolph Day (the 25th of any month is Rudolph Day), what better time to post these photos at last?

One more...
Those large paper candy canes were made by one of my granddaughters. She learned how to make them in school. By the time Christmas was here they were hanging from the tree and most doorknobs as well!

Christmas fabric napkins

I've been going through my folder of "blog posts in progress" and found these pretty fabric napkins I had made for one of my daughters for this past Christmas. They are all Christmas prints. This was a great help in reducing my stash of Christmas fabric. For my other daughter, I used all blue/white Christmas and winter prints -- like snowflakes, snow scenes, etc. A very quick and easy gift!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A vintage card

I've been sorting through some old boxes of photos. Every now and then a vintage card will surface among them. Here is the most adorable one I've found yet!