Friday, July 31, 2015
But I love this holly-trimmed lamp post with the flickering red candle inside. And even more, I love the little snowy village scene in the right background of the picture. So sweet!
And this wraps up Christmas in July here in my Christmas kitchen. Hope you've enjoyed the daily posts!
Thursday, July 30, 2015
|This lovely teacup image is from The Graphics Fairy -- a fabulous resource!|
The Christmas Teacup
The pretty little
teacup was once
just a lump of clay,
until God's loving fingers
gently molded it one day.
Stronger and more
beautiful the teacup
as its true purpose
was defined, no
lifeless clay remained.
So, let's sit down
and share a special
cup of Christmas tea,
and thank the Lord
for all He does to
fashion you and me
into the folks He
had in mind long
before our birth ...
the loved ones Jesus
came to save when He
came here to earth.
I have saved the bookmark all these years. Now it is time to share the poem with others!
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
|Photo from Crumbs and Chaos|
This delicious-looking coffee cake contains real eggnog in the cake and in the glaze. I personally think a good coffee cake is a wonderful addition to any special breakfast, but this one would be perfect for Christmas. I had pinned it to my original Christmas board on Pinterest long before I had such a thing as a Christmas Breakfast board. So now I have pinned this Eggnog Coffee Cake to that board, too. That way I can't lose track of it! If I find myself with time to bake on a cool summer morning (assuming we have some), I will be trying this recipe out ahead of time!
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
And then the horses and sled, the man and little boy and the Christmas tree are all in color, but colors with a muted vintage feel to them. This just evokes childhood memories for me. I hope you all enjoy seeing this lovely card, too!
Monday, July 27, 2015
|Photo from Taste of Home|
For years I have stored baked Christmas cookies in tins in the freezer, or on a cold back porch, for Christmas gift-giving. Sometimes I have even baked tea breads or fruitcakes and frozen them. But Crystal has many more ideas, and her suggestions are great. Check them out!
Another thing I've done is to make and freeze a few pans of uncooked lasagna to bake as needed. Great for when you have a busy day or a houseful of company. You could do this with any other freezable main dish, too.
Why not look through your Christmas notebook to see how you could implement freezer cooking into your Christmas planning this year? You'll be glad you did!
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Twelve Crafts Till Christmas concerning Handmade Holiday Tips, is very, very helpful as we begin to plan (or continue to plan) our handcrafted gifts.
I'll let you follow the link and check it out for yourself -- and if I were you I would print out the post and put it somewhere safe, like my Christmas notebook. I think this is something I probably need to re-read as I plan my handcrafted gifts each year. There are eight incredibly helpful tips, including the need to be realistic about your level of crafting skill in various areas.
(And I would add to that the need to be realistic about how long a particular project is going to take you. Invariably I underestimate how long something is going to take.)
Another important thought is to consider your recipient. Yes, you love to craft gifts and most people love receiving something handmade. But others do not, so know your recipient. And then there is the matter of allergies and sensitivities when thinking about food gifts or anything scented. It used to be that homemade cookies or a loaf of bread were always a safe bet. Not so much anymore, with so many people avoiding wheat and gluten. So you can see that this tip is a very valuable one.
I'll be printing this out and putting it in my Christmas notebook. How about you?
Saturday, July 25, 2015
|A glittery handmade house made by my friend Les|
One site I visited for Rudolph Day ideas suggested that during July, one should plan to have all of the stocking stuffers purchased. I think that's not a bad idea! For quite a few of our empty-nest years, my hubby and I filled stockings for one another. In recent years we've decided to forgo even the stocking stuffers and save all of our gift money to spend on getaways during the year. It's actually much more meaningful and fun for us than buying gifts would be!
Another idea I found was that if you are making your own Christmas cards, July is a good time to get that done.
And yet another thought is to check your list and make sure at least half of your gifts are purchased or made. Good ideas!
Hope your Rudolph Day is a special one!
Friday, July 24, 2015
|Photo from The Thrifty Rebel|
As you can see, the base of each angel is a salt or pepper shaker minus its shaker top. Each is filled with beads with a touch of glitter. The wings are butterfly shapes cut from old sheet music -- in this case, Christmas carols.
If you don't have any sheet music, or none that you wish to cut up, check out this link for: Printable Christmas Music Papers. Here's a sample:
|Photo from Knick of Time|
I think that I have everything I need to make some of these. My salt and pepper shakers are more on the square side, but I think they will still be cute even though not as graceful a shape as these. You could make these now and have them ready for Christmas!
Thursday, July 23, 2015
The Gifts We're Given
If every gift was taken from
Beneath the Christmas tree,
And everything was gone except
The love of family ...
Then we would still have everything
That makes the season real,
For Christmas joy is in the way
We make each other feel.
Just as long as love was there
Along with faith so sweet,
We'd still have a Christmas that
Was perfectly complete.
~ Hilda Sanderson
Hope you have enjoyed this poem!
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
|Photo from Inside BruCrew Life|
Jocelyn, at Inside BruCrew Life, has such a knack for devising truly wonderful recipes of all types, but her specialty is sweets. This recipe looks so delicious and easy, and it uses just a few ingredients -- cream cheese, canned cream of coconut, marshmallow cream, and whipped topping. Rum extract is also suggested, which I personally would not use, but Jocelyn says that vanilla extract may be substituted.
Although this is a summery flavor -- and would be a fun treat to try right now -- it would also be pretty at Christmas with strawberries or red and green grapes. The dip itself has such a pretty snowy look! Have fun with this recipe!
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
I love the cross stitched border and the embroidered touches in particular. The embroidered fir branches look so real!
Wouldn't it be fun to do a wall hanging like this? I sure think so!
Monday, July 20, 2015
|A page from my tattered Trim the Christmas Tree Little Golden Book|
If your family could use some help getting a fun conversation going, check out this idea from Cindy at Skip to My Lou. She has some free printable Christmas conversation starters that you might like to use. The questions are printed in the center of pretty green and red wreaths, so they are pretty and festive as well.
Or, you might like to just take this idea and make up some interesting conversation starter cards of your very own. It could be really fun to personalize them to suit your own family yet still make the questions general enough so a guest of any age could answer. This would be an easy project to do for Christmas in July and have all of your conversation cards ready for the holiday dinners!
Sunday, July 19, 2015
|Photo by Melanie at Reasons to Skip the Housework|
The only tricky part looks to be attaching the lights to the back of the frame, but Melanie shows some clear photos of the process. If you are handy, or have a handy friend or husband, you should be able to manage that just fine. This is such a fun project for displaying Christmas cards as they arrive at your house, but I think if I were to make one, I would use it for displaying my vintage Christmas cards. What about you?
Saturday, July 18, 2015
I recently found a small and long-stored stash of vintage paper goods in my dad's cupboard. Not anything he will ever use. These napkins (which have a matching tablecloth) have a scalloped edge and a pretty design of gold stars along with a border of pine needles, holly, and little green pine cones. So sweet. These are Party Papers by Pakay, and a package of 25 napkins cost 30¢ back in the day. I was intrigued to see that these were manufactured by the Nashua Corporation in Nashua, NH.
Hope you've enjoyed this vintage treat as much as I did. What a fun find!
Friday, July 17, 2015
|Photo from Flamingo Toes|
This looks like a really fun and creative project to try. Finding the printed tape now, in July, might not be easy. You might try looking online -- or maybe you are fortunate and already have some of this tape on hand.
I think this would be a neat way to use up all those odds and ends of trims and buttons -- and you could even substitute scraps of Christmas wrap for the tape if you were determined to make these tags and couldn't find the tape. My July is looking really busy so I probably won't try this project right away -- but I definitely do hope to make some of these tags!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
|A Christmas card by Kathy Lawrence|
What makes a "merry" Christmas
From dawn till close of day?
Is it the tree that proudly stands
With lights and trimmings gay,
And all the magic packages
Beneath in foil so bright?
Is it the sparkling snowflakes
That clothe the world in white?
Is it the homemade welcome wreath
That hangs upon the door,
Or perhaps the rich aromas
That from the kitchen pour?
The joy of having loved ones
Together for a while,
The handclasp of true friendship,
Or a neighbor's ready smile?
Stars that shine in children's eyes
When Santa Claus they see,
The story of the Christ Child
And of the wise men three?
Ah yes, much Christmas happiness
Each one of these imparts --
Entwined and held so tenderly
By love within our hearts.
~ Beulah Sutton Waite
The description of the tree and packages in the first stanza reminded me so much of the proud and beautiful tree in my grandmother's "front room" back in the 1950s and 1960s. The second stanza evoked my mother's kitchen, so filled with rich aromas of cookies, fudge, cinnamon swirl bread, and more that we would share with our neighbors. I love the idea too that each of these memories can be "entwined and held so tenderly by love within our hearts." A beautiful thought!
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
|Photo from Inside BruCrew Life|
Jocelyn has several recipes for these sugar cookie-type bars, and they are so good! It's nice, too, to be able to make frosted sugar cookies so quickly. These chocolate mint bars could be the hit of your cookie exchange. But they'd be refreshing in summer, too, so don't hesitate to bake up a batch. They don't take long in the oven.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
I guess that this card is from the 1970s or 1980s. What a very different mailbox-themed card it is! I acquired it when I put out an appeal for used cards to utilize in art projects at a Christian school, and have never seen another one like it. What I find so interesting (in addition to the unusual style of the mailbox itself) is the flowers. Where do you suppose this is? It's clearly Christmas time, going by the package wrapping, but it's somewhere flowers are blooming in December. Hawaii? Or Australia or New Zealand? I'll probably never know!
Hope you've enjoyed this unusual card from my collection.
Monday, July 13, 2015
|Photo from Christmas Notebook.com|
This is one of those crafts that could be made with infinite variations depending on the scene on the card you choose. Snowmen, forest scenes, even manger scenes -- this is an idea you could really have fun with. Another neat thing is that the card itself, with some careful reinforcement and cutting, forms the box. This would be a fun project for older kids, too -- not just adults.
I hope to make some of these little scenes. What about you?
Sunday, July 12, 2015
|Photo from FaveCrafts.com|
As I looked it over in preparation for writing this post, however, I noticed that this project requires the use of a serger, which I do not own.
So I went looking for another tote that did not require use of a serger, and found this one: Casserole Dish Carrier.
|Photo by Jolen Loves to Sew|
Saturday, July 11, 2015
|Photo from Claire at The Simple, Sweet Life|
I thought it would be fun to share something from this new board with you for Christmas in July, so I went to the board and made a selection. These Peppermint Mocha Doughnuts from Claire at The Simple, Sweet Life look absolutely amazing!
Actually, I thought for years that I wouldn't care much for peppermint mocha anything. It just didn't sound that great to me. But either last Christmas or the year before, I forget which, I decided to try some coffee creamer in that flavor, and now I am hooked. I'm sure these doughnuts (which I plan to try making this year) would be absolutely delicious. They are a baked doughnut, so lower in fat -- always a plus, in my book. You could try a batch this summer and just leave off the peppermint -- or, serve them on July 25th for Rudolph Day!
Friday, July 10, 2015
|A Christmas table runner I made from my fabric stash|
|Matching placemats -- these are both fun July projects|
This link from A Spoonful of Sugar
has some great ideas for Christmas place card ideas in particular, although there are other table setting ideas as well.
These treat-filled place cards are just one idea
|Photo by A Spoonful of Sugar|
Do check out this link. You will be inspired!
Thursday, July 09, 2015
|Vintage card from my collection|
A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS
Oh, it's a country Christmas
That I am dreaming of,
With candles in the windows
And a home that's filled with love.
With children singing carols
As they trim the Christmas tree;
And Mother in the kitchen
Baking treats for you and me.
A church upon the hillside,
And moonlight on the snow,
Oh, it's a country Christmas
That casts a special glow.
~ Loise Pinkerton Fritz
This lovely, nostalgic poem sparks so many memories for me! How about you?
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
|Photo from Taste of Home|
Incidentally, if you too are interested in making these cookies for summer, I made several batches of them. I ended up not using the cookie press because the cookies it produces were just bigger than what I wanted. If you have a smaller, older cookie press it would work just fine. These cookies get their pretty color and nice flavor from Jell-O® -- just the dry powder as it comes from the box. So, for summer flavors I used lime, orange, and cherry lemonade. The orange ones were particularly nice, but they were all good.
Hope you enjoy these cookies, whether you try them now or in December!
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
|As you can see, "Home for Christmas" is lettered across the bottom of the card.|
Click on the photo to make it bigger -- there are some fun details here, like the boy running with the sled and the dog.
|The message inside the card. As usual, love those fancy fonts!|
Monday, July 06, 2015
|Photo from Flamingo Toes|
Bev has designed these in a couple different sizes, and notice how the small ones have a base made of a vintage spool of thread. I have a bunch of these on hand!
Bev also gives some great ideas for trimming the trees. Some are even lighted!
Shaping the trees (by "pruning" them with scissors) doesn't look difficult, but it could be messy. This might be a great project to do outside on the picnic table this summer.
I hope to try this project, and will definitely post photos if I do!
Sunday, July 05, 2015
|Photo by Sharon from Elizabeth & Co.|
Vignettes are so appealing in decorating, and Christmas is just a wonderful time to use them. Diane, at An Extraordinary Day, is so gifted at creating vignettes and then photographs them so beautifully to share the how-tos with others. This idea of a Christmas baking vignette is so much fun! This particular idea is a guest post by Sharon of Elizabeth & Co. and it is just lovely.
Not only is it pretty, and not only does it deliver a hefty helping of memories and nostalgia, but it is also useful. The cookie cutters, sprinkles and rolling pin are right there should you want to bake up a batch of cut-out cookies! The tiny tree and the jolly snowman add even more sparkle and fun to the scene.
When you click the link for the baking vignette, you will find that Sharon has shared many more photos to give you a better look as to how she assembled it. I'm pretty sure one of these vignettes is going to find a place in my kitchen this Christmas!
Saturday, July 04, 2015
|interior of tea wallet|
I hope to share a few posts this month about small gifts to make. Some ideas right off the top of my head are coasters, mug mats, tea wallets, dishcloths, potholders --- nice small, uncomplicated projects, some of which could be worked on while traveling or at the lake or the beach. I've made loads of these sorts of projects in the past and have many ideas to share. Stay tuned!
Friday, July 03, 2015
|Photo by Amy at Positively Splendid|
I love the idea of looking through my fabric stash to find prints to sew up into these nifty bags. And then looking through my stash of ribbons and trims ... what fun on a summer day to sew some of these up in front of an open window. Think I'll be trying this! How about you?
Thursday, July 02, 2015
|A vintage card from my collection|
Christmas wrappings on the floor,
A choir of carolers at the door,
A tall and twinkling Christmas tree
Bedecked with lights for all to see,
Sparkling ornaments so jolly,
Fragrant pine and shiny holly,
Bells that ring out Christmas cheer
To guide us through the coming year.
~ Ericka Northrop
Hope you've enjoyed this festive little poem!
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
|Another card from my friend Ann in New Zealand|
I thought it would be fun to start this month, with its patriotic holiday, with another vintage card from the parcel my friend Ann sent me awhile back. This one, with its red, white and blue theme, is perfect!
|Inside the card ...|
Hope you've enjoyed my patriotic vintage card! See you tomorrow for more of Christmas in July!