Sunday, July 31, 2016

One last vintage card

For our last day of Christmas in July, I'm sharing another vintage card from the 1970s.  This is just a simple card from a boxed assortment, but I liked many things about it. 

The verse, of course, is a familiar one:

"Somehow, not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
is the joy that comes back to you."

But I like the swirly trim on the edges of the design that give a definite 1970s vibe to the card.  I also like the pretty candy jars with the red and white peppermint candies against the card's red background. 

Hope you've enjoyed this card as well.  Thanks for visiting my Christmas kitchen for Christmas in July!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Eggnog Oatmeal Cookies

Photo from Kleinworth and Co.
 One last cookie recipe: Eggnog Oatmeal Cookies from Gina at Kleinworth and Co..

 This is one I've had pinned to my Christmas Cookie Exchange! board for while.  It appealed to me because it elevates an ordinary oatmeal cookie to the special status of a Christmas cookie. I loved the fact that the glaze actually contains eggnog.   I mistakenly thought I hadn't gotten around to trying this cookie recipe, but guess what?

The list doesn't lie!  It was on my Christmas baking list -- the recipes I actually did make -- in 2014!  You can see where I've marked off the boxes by the recipes that were actually made.  Eggnog Oatmeal Cookies are about 2/3 of the way down on the list.  Now that my memory has been jogged (it pays to keep lists and a Christmas notebook!) I do recall that these cookies were very tasty.  I think my husband is probably the one who baked the cookies (he's helpful like that when he has the time) and that's why I didn't remember baking them.  I do have a page in my Christmas notebook for "recipes to try" in which I note when we tried a certain recipe and how we liked it, but with Mr. T doing much of the baking the past few years, that kind of went by the wayside. 

Planning to make these cookies again in 2016!  I think they'd also be pretty with a few Christmas sprinkles atop the glazed area of the cookie.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Peruse my Pinterest boards!

I seem to be adding more Christmas Pinterest boards on a pretty regular basis.  Throughout this month I've shared a few links to my boards, but I haven't mentioned all of them by any means.  So I thought I would do so now.  First off is my Christmas board, the first Christmas board I created. This one has a little bit of everything, from recipes to trees to gift and decorating ideas.  Lots of fun stuff here!

I will add the others in no particular order.  Here we go!

There's my Vintage Christmas board.  It has so many nostalgic delights that bring back memories from my childhood!
Here's an example:
Vintage Christmas carol booklet from my personal collection
Then there's a related board, Christmas cards and sentiments, which contains many beautiful cards and related things like the greetings and small designs inside them.

 This is a favorite of mine and you may well find cards on both of the above boards too.  Below is a favorite card from my own collection:

You would probably also like to visit my Christmas Decorating Inspiration board.

A visit to this board always inspires me and I'm sure it will do the same for others.

The Advent Calendars and Christmas Countdowns 

board has quite a number of intriguing ideas.  Sometimes I pin things from my own blog so I will not forget where to find pictures of my projects.  The Advent countdown below is a project I made some years ago.  I made three of these.  They were a Gooseberry Patch craft idea and fun to do.
My Kitchen Gifts board has loads of ideas that work well for friends, family and neighbors.

I've already mentioned my Christmas Cookie Exchange! board this month.

Then there is a board for Christmas hospitality

and one for Christmas breakfast.

Whether you're looking for a Christmas devotional to bless your own quiet time or to share with others, you're sure to find something on my Christmas devotionals board.

You can also find help for your  Christmas planning and preparation.  Who couldn't use some new and proven ideas in that department?
Then there's my Crafting for Christmas board

and my previously mentioned Christmas Fabric Stash board,

as well as the Gift wrap and tags to make board.

Not all of the wrappings on this board are for Christmas, but you'll find some fun ideas there.

So take some time to peruse my Christmas Pinterest boards.  Inspiration is guaranteed!   In fact, you will find further inspiration on many of my boards, whether sewing projects, handmade gifts, crochet, fun with felt --- I can't take time to link to all of them, so  check out these boards for yourself, okay?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Christmas trees on vehicles

Photo from It All Started with Paint
I don't think the interest in decorative items featuring Christmas trees tied to vehicles is going away anytime soon.  It's definitely not going anywhere as far as I'm concerned.  I always look forward every year to spotting the first Christmas tree tied to a car top.   In fact, living where we do, we are very apt to see large tractor-trailer loads of Christmas trees headed south from northern New Hampshire or Maine.  Of course we tend to see those long before Thanksgiving -- and Thanksgiving afternoon is usually the first time we will see a Christmas tree atop a car or in the back of a truck.

I've saved a bunch of car-top Christmas tree ideas to my various Christmas boards on Pinterest, and thought I would share a few of them today.  First, the one that's probably my favorite, the ornament pictured at the top of the post.  Linda shares the tutorial at It All Started with Paint.  I am seriously thinking of making some of these if I can find nifty-looking vehicles that are small enough to fit inside the ornaments. 

The other ideas are in no particular order, and I'll give credit where it's due and links to the various blogs so you can check them out for yourselves.  So next is a fun idea for using a tree in a toy truck as a table centerpiece.  This is from Christy at Our Southern Home.
Photo from Our Southern Home
Here's another truck idea, this one from Faye at Wild Rose Vintage.  I love the way Faye has added more trees with shiny baubles and surrounded the truck with vintage ornaments. I think we have a toy truck around that's somewhat similar to this.  Maybe ...
Photo by Wild Rose Vintage
We'll continue with the truck theme, I guess.  Check out this pretty idea from Malia at Yesterday on Tuesday.  Love the wreath on the front of the pickup truck!  You can't tell by looking at this picture below, but this truck and its surrounding scene are inside a large cake dome atop a white cake plate.  Very pretty!
Photo from Yesterday on Tuesday
Here's one last truck idea -- love this one!  It's from Vicky, from Life on Willie Mae Lane.  She has loads of wonderful decorating ideas in this post!
Photo from Life on Willie Mae Lane
Now we'll shift back to cars for a minute.  Up next is a car with tree terrarium shared by Jen at City Farmhouse.  I like the way she uses a slice of birch tree, complete with bark, as the base.  Very creative and different!
Photo from City Farmhouse
The next idea is a fun and whimsical find from Vicky at Life on Willie Mae Lane.

Photo from Life on Willie Mae Lane
 I wouldn't mind finding a set of these plates -- as Vicky did -- somewhere!  She found hers at Tuesday Morning.

Here's a fun vignette from Kimberley at Seaside Ave.
Photo from Seaside Ave
 There's a lot going on in this scene, but I love it!

Next is a nifty centerpiece put together by Mary Beth at Cupcakes and Crinoline.

Photo from Cupcakes and Crinoline
This one also has a lot going on, but it's festive and different.  I like the wrapped packages and the candy canes and evergreen sprigs!

And now for something very different: Thoughts from Alice shares an adorable printable Christmas village including ... yes, you guessed it! Printable Christmas trees on cars!  There is much more to the printable village than what you see below, but it's a sample of the delightful artwork.
Photo by Thoughts from Alice
Isn't it cute?  I need to print out one of these.  I'm one of those people who has never outgrown things like cutting, pasting, and coloring.  And I have no plans to outgrow it.

Just two more.  These are a bit unusual.  The first one does not contain a tree on the vehicle at all, but it could.  One could easily put a tree or trees in the trailer rather than the cargo of ornaments.  This is a vignette by Robin from Happy at Home.   I'm pretty sure my kids had a tractor like this, but it may or may not have been painted blue...

Photo from Happy at Home
You will want to check out Robin's entire post; there are some fantastic decorating ideas here!

My last feature is this whimsical idea from Diane at An Extraordinary Day

Photo from An Extraordinary Day
Diane has a real flair for creating vignettes, and this one is unusual and fun, with Santa in a bumper car bringing home the tree atop a vintage camper.

Hope you've enjoyed these fun ideas!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Simple snow globe to make yourself!

Photo by The 36th Avenue
Don't you just love snow globes at Christmas time (and really, all winter)?  I received my first snow globe as a gift when I was very young.  I wish I could remember where it is now. I believe it had a black base and there was a snowman inside.  I've always found something very enchanting about snow globes.  You can read some of my thoughts here: Living in a Christmas Card.

I've even tried to make my own a time or two, with baby food jars and so on.  It never worked out all that well.  But this DIY snow globe from a plastic cup, from Desiree at The 36th Avenue, looks much more foolproof.  The plastic cup, or tumbler, Desiree used has bubbles built right into it, so this snow globe looks as if it is snowing all the time, not just when shaken.  She said that she found the bubbly cup at Target, but I imagine they wouldn't be too hard to find.

If July's heat and humidity are getting to you as they are to me, why not gather your supplies and make one of these simple snow globes?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Show-stopping red velvet shortbread cookies!

Photo from Diamonds for Dessert
Do you have a Christmas cookie exchange or swap coming up in December?  If so, you will want to file this recipe away for that event.  Susan, at Diamonds for Dessert,  has transformed a red velvet shortbread recipe (I was going to say "a basic red velvet shortbread recipe", but there's nothing basic about red velvet!)  into these adorable fireplace cookies.  I can't even imagine that level of creativity, and homemade cookies too.  SO cute. 

You can find the recipe and tutorial for decorating here: red velvet shortbread cookies.  The "fireplace mantel" is white chocolate; the flames and garland are royal icing.  And those lights?  They are the hands and feet of gummy bears, snipped off.  I am just not sure I could bring myself to do that, but I must say they are the perfect medium to produce real-looking Christmas lights.  I think small candies, like M&M baking bits, might also work, but would not look as real.

I can't see myself making dozens of these, but a batch or two, in the company of creative grandchildren, sounds like fun!  The shortbread sounds delicious, too.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pretty pine cone and jingle bell ornament

Photo from Fox Hollow Cottage
Isn't the above ornament from Shannon at Fox Hollow Cottage just so pretty? I would not necessarily have thought of pairing a jingle bell (especially a shiny jingle bell) with pine cones and twine, but it all works together beautifully.  I have all the materials on hand and would love to make some of these,  as they look to be quite simple.  Find the tutorial here: rustic jingle bell pine cone ornament.

If you vacation or hike this summer at a place where many pine cones have fallen, you may like to snag a few for this project.  When you get them home, be sure to bake them in a 300ยบ oven for half an hour to kill any insects, before crafting with them.

Today is Rudolph Day -- what a perfect time to craft a simple ornament and get ahead of the game for Christmas!  These would also be very pretty tied to a package or tucked into a gift basket.

Happy Rudolph Day!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ideas for making a Christmas tree skirt

This shows a segment of my own tree skirt ... a candlewicking kit from the 1980s
 I've found a few fun ideas for making Christmas tree skirts.  and thought I would share my finds for Christmas in July.

Photo from The Paper Mama
This Happy  Christmas tree skirt is a fun idea.  From Chelsey at The Paper Mama, it's  made from felt with pompoms trimming the edge and sequin trim spelling out a saying.  She chose "Happy Christmas", but you could do "Merry Christmas", "Let it Snow", or any other Christmasy saying of suitable length to fit on the skirt.

Photo by Homey Home Design
Above, I also found this Pottery Barn style tree skirt -- an elegant idea from Jody at Homey Home Design.  It's made from a painter's drop cloth and trimmed with gray felt leaves.  She then trimmed the leaves with white pompoms.  I think pearls might be even prettier!

My own tree skirt (seen above and at the top of the post) is candlewicking, a very 1970s-1980s revival of a much older craft technique.  You can read about my tree skirt here: candlewicking tree skirt.  This was made from a kit which my parents had given me many years ago.  I looked on eBay and saw a few similar kits, but nothing just the same.  They are pricey.

I keep thinking I would like to make a new one.  I've seen some lovely patchwork ideas, and some  cross-stitch ones which are especially beautiful.  But then, we usually place a lighted village beneath our tree, so not much of the tree skirt is seen anyway!

Hope you've enjoyed these ideas!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

One last doll giveaway at Pixie Faire!

Photo from Pixie Faire
There is one last giveaway going on right now for one of the Wellie Wishers dolls by American Girl®, sponsored by Pixie Faire and Liberty Jane.  By the process of elimination, I deduced that this giveaway will be for the adorable Emerson doll.  With her sweet face and perky black ponytails, she is cute as a button! To enter the giveaway, go here: Emerson Doll Giveaway and enter using the Rafflecopter provided. 

Remember, the Wellie Wishers dolls are 14.5 inches tall, rather than the 18-inch size of American Girl® dolls. They are so cute and I know several little girls who would love one.  It's a long shot to win one of these giveaways, as there are thousands of entries.  Still, someone has to win, and I hope it's one of you (or me)!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Christmas cloches

Photo from Craftberry Bush
 Here is a really nice decorating idea from Lucy at Craftberry Bush. She made a pretty Christmas cloche out of a repurposed thrift store clock and a terra-cotta plant pot saucer.  I'm not sure how easy to find those clocks would be, but her ideas for what to put inside would work with a purchased cloche as well.  The ornament on a snowy base as seen above is so pretty.

And here's another of Lucy's ideas:
Photo from Craftberry Bush

The pine cone in snow is so simple, yet lovely.  

I don't own a cloche and haven't yet found any clocks to repurpose.  I do have a small cake dome that I got at Marshalls for $5 years ago, and I have had fun using that in a cloche-like manner. 
With berries, and miniature Christmas teawares from my friend LJ
With a glittery house and bottle brush tree
Whether you repurpose a clock as Lucy did, improvise with a cake dome as I have done, or even if you own an actual cloche, have fun with these ideas!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cranberry Bliss Cookies

Photo from Cookies and Cups

I'm always on the lookout for more great Christmas cookie recipes, as evidenced by the fact of my Christmas Cookie Exchange! Pinterest board. 

Recently I came upon this great-looking recipe: Cranberry Bliss Cookies  from Shelly at Cookies and Cups.  I promptly pinned the recipe to my board and will look forward to trying it out.

These cookies look SO yummy.  The white chocolate drizzle is optional, but I would definitely add it if I was gifting these cookies or taking them to a cookie swap.

Now, if we would only get some more cool weather (it's been a heat/humidity wave here lately),  I would bake up a batch of these for testing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Color themed gift baskets

Here is a great gift idea for almost anyone.  We made one of these for our 8-year-old grandson's birthday, and it was a gigantic hit!  His favorite color is green and he was so excited to open everything in this green gift basket, even making sure to ask if he could keep the basket, too.

I didn't set out to do a color-themed gift.  I had seen these two wonderful ideas: Lego-Themed Gift Basket and Star Wars-Themed Gift Basket suggested by Kim at Not Consumed and I thought a themed basket would be so much fun to do.  My plan was to use either a superhero theme or a Minecraft theme.  But as I began looking around Walmart, I just found it too confusing, as a grandma, to sort it all out.  Kim's ideas are great, but they would work best if one planned ahead.  And I was definitely putting it all together at the last minute.

Then I had the thought of going with the theme of Josiah's favorite color.  The idea is not original with me.  I had enjoyed reading these wonderful posts: Orange You Glad It’s Almost Summer gift idea
Photo from Smashed Peas and Carrots
  and Hello Sunshine gift idea

Photo from Smashed Peas and Carrots
by Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots.  And, although Maggie's fantastic ideas were simply for gifts to be packaged and sent through the mail, my mind jumped to getting more items and making a green gift basket.

What a great idea it turned out to be!  Our shopping trip turned into a scavenger hunt for green items throughout the store!  We got everything from a green t-shirt to a green frisbee and Granny Smith apples.  (Had I planned ahead, I would also have added in some handmade green gift items.)

You can see some of the items (prior to wrapping) in the photo above.  I wrapped them individually in different shades of green tissue paper.  Then I plopped the entire basket into a gift-basket bag from the dollar store and tied it with a green ribbon.  And he had SO much fun opening everything!

Later, I also found this post: Color Themed Gift Baskets from Karen Ehman, so I figured I would link to that as well.

Have fun with this creative gift idea!