Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another Rudy Day gets away

From a favorite vintage coffee advertisement.  I love the variety of cups hanging by ribbons from the Christmas tree!  The snowflake tablecloth is so pretty too.
Yes, this past Saturday was Rudolph Day for August.  And it completely got away.  I'm busy with planning and preparing for a visit from our faraway daughter and family, coming mid-September to stay three whole weeks.  And then there is just life in general.  Lots of time spent on preparing my Sunday School lessons for the next several weeks, garden to harvest from, weeds to pull (not keeping up with that!), cleaning to do, and on and on.  I'd love to bake some things for the freezer (to serve while our company is here) but the weather's been a bit too warm to do much baking.

Thus, on Rudy Day I did not do one single, solitary Christmasy thing.

One thing I have been working on sporadically this week is cutting out pieces for pieced Christmas placemats like this one:

They match the runner I made a couple of years ago.
Well, they sort of match.  I guess "coordinate" might be a better word.  The fabrics will vary for each of them -- I am hoping to make ten mats -- because I am just using up scraps.  I'm finding, though, that rather than using up all of my stash of scraps I am creating a good number of smaller scraps of Christmas fabrics.

Any ideas for using very small scraps of Christmas fabric will be welcome.  I'm thinking of using some for card making and gift tags.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Simple table topper from vintage fabric

This week I took a few minutes to narrow-hem the vintage red and green print remnant I showed earlier.  It came out the size of a small table runner, which means I will be able to use it in various places in the kitchen and dining area -- dining table, kitchen island, hutch, etc. 
The little bouquet is flowers from going-to-seed mustard greens in our garden.

Thought you might like to see the vintage doily as well.  This is a handmade doily from my mother's linen closet.  Someone had given her a set of two.  She passed them on to me some years ago.
I am pleased with how this quick little project turned out.  It looks great in my strawberry themed dining area, and will look nice later with Christmas decor as well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A finished project

This runner has been on my "to finish" list for a couple of years now.  I am so pleased to have completed it.  My daughter loves chickadees, and I had wanted to make this for her birthday a couple of years ago.  When I bought the kit online, I mistakenly thought it was stamped cross stitch and embroidery.  I obviously didn't look too closely, for it was stamped embroidery, nearly all of it in satin stitch.
End motifs are like this

Entire runner -- I took this pic with the runner spread out on the floor.
I plan to give this to my daughter the next time I see her.  She can then put it away to have ready when the Christmas season arrives.  I'm not too worried about spoiling the surprise, as she seldom checks my Christmas blog, but even if she should happen to see it here, she will still be surprised by it, I guess.
One of the side motifs
It's a wonderful feeling to have finished this project at last!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Red and green vintage fabric print

I'm not sure this is even Christmas fabric (I sort of think not, as the motifs don't look too Christmasy), but the reds and greens are perfect.  I have had this smallish piece of vintage fabric in my stash for so long that I'm not even sure where I got it.  I have held onto it all this time because it's so pretty, but have not thought of a good use for it.  Today I decided that when I have a few minutes I will simply hem the edges and use it as a little table topper.   That way I can use it however and wherever I like -- at Christmas or any season!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another little vintage card

Here's another little card which I came across in my photo sorting project.  Actually, this card is even smaller than the last one and was obviously used as an enclosure with a gift.  It's very simple with the church window and little choir boy, but I think it is so sweet.  There is something innocent and joyful about the small older Christmas cards from a simpler time.  I just love them and am thrilled to have found this one.  Hope you enjoy it too!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A sweet little vintage Christmas card

Recently I finished a big project of sorting through some old photos.  Mingled in with them were a few old greeting cards.  This little Christmas card was found complete with envelope and has not been previously used.  It's a sweet, though unusual little depiction of a Christmas music box (you can see the wind-up key on the base, to the right) decorated with angels -- I suppose they would twirl as the music played -- small golden bells, and greenery.  It is a "Brownie" card by Rust Craft, a favorite line of cards in years gone by.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Candied Walnuts

This past weekend I tried a recipe for candied walnuts.  I was making a salad recipe that called for toasted pecans.  I didn't have a lot of pecans on hand, and I also wanted to kick the flavor of the salad up just a little bit, so I went looking for a candied walnut recipe.  This one, which I found in one of my Quick Cooking annual cookbooks -- Candied Walnuts -- did not disappoint.

(Parenthetically, let me add that these annual cookbooks -- of which I own three -- were acquired free because I had recipes published in Simple & Delicious or Light & Tasty in the past.  This is a fun way to get some very nice cookbooks, so if you have never submitted recipes to any of these magazines -- including Taste of Home -- you might want to consider doing so.  Even if your recipes are not used right away, you will receive a free magazine and often a free hardcover book eventually if they are  published.)

Back to the Candied Walnuts.  I don't keep balsamic vinegar on hand, so I just used cider vinegar.  And my canola oil was at the back of the cabinet, so I used light olive oil which was near the front.  These ingredients worked out just fine.  The walnuts were super easy to make and they are just delicious!  It's so nice to be able to make something so fancy and different with so little effort.
(Photo by Taste of Home)
These were good in a salad and they would be nice as a snack or appetizer, but I'm posting the recipe link here in my Christmas kitchen because I think they would make a wonderful kitchen gift.  Don't you agree?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Christmas birdhouse

I was recently given this cute Christmas birdhouse ornament.  My mother-in-law found it somewhere -- probably at a thrift store or, more likely, the recycle area of her local dump.  I think it's very cute and will definitely make it a part of my Christmas and winter decorating this year.  I especially enjoy items featuring snowmen, snowflakes, icicles and so on because they can be left out and enjoyed all winter long!