Wednesday, July 31, 2019

First things first ... taking time to think about Christmas 2019

As we finish off Christmas in July, it seems the perfect time to make some plans as to how we want things to look come December 1.  I found a great resource and some wonderful encouragement and inspiration for putting First Things First.    This is from Melissa at The Inspired Room

I've done similar exercises before, but I have never started so early.  Here's what Melissa wrote that really energized me:
From Melissa at The Inspired Room
So I think that, this very afternoon, I will sit down with paper and pen and do this exercise.  Question 2 in particular should be incredibly helpful for me.

This is actually the first of a series of posts that Melissa wrote titled Love the Home You Have: Simply Inspired Holidays.  You can access the entire series of posts -- I think there are around fifteen of them -- from this link.  You may have to scroll down a bit to see the list, but it is there and includes such things as "Puttering and Decluttering", "Finding Childhood Wonder", and "Inspiration for Opening Your Home."  You will want to take a look at these!  I think I will spend some time in August browsing through this series. 

What about you?  Ready to get inspired and begin planning?  Let's do this!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Simple banner display for Christmas cards

Photo from Kristyn at Lil' Luna 
What do you do with your incoming Christmas cards as the holiday season arrives each year?  We get cards from some people who are so prompt!  Their goal must be to get their cards in the mail for December 1.  We exchange cards with others who are invariably late; it's often January before we hear from them.  Most people fall somewhere in between those two extremes.

As our cards arrive, our usual routine is to tape them up in the front hallway.
But I'm always open to new ideas for displaying our cards, and this Christmas card banner from Kristyn at Lil’ Luna (seen at top of post) is very pretty.

Kristyn started with a simple paper banner of punched 2-inch circles of decorative paper strung on ribbon or tulle.
Photo from Kristyn at Lil' Luna
Then, as the cards arrived, she clipped them to the ribbon using mini wooden clothespins, as seen at top.  What an easy solution!  It looks pretty before and after the cards are added.

I have plenty of Christmasy scrapbook paper and some tulle ribbon on hand.  I think all I would need is a 2-inch circle punch, so I am going to keep my eye open for sales.

I'm thinking a person could make one of these simple banners with the paper circles and tulle now, then stash it away (be sure to write down where you stashed it).  It will  then be ready to hang the first of December.  Whenever your cards begin arriving, you will be ready to add them to the banner.  Sounds like a good idea to me!  What do you think?

Monday, July 29, 2019

A pretty little photo bookmark to make

Photo from Crafts Unleashed
Here is a sweet little project that would make a lovely gift for grandparents: Photo ribbon bookmarks from Rena at Crafts Unleashed.

Some people may think bookmarks are becoming obsolete,  but I really don't think so.  I still like to keep a book at my bedside; it is more restful and sleep-promoting to me than trying to read on the Kindle.  Most people like to use a bookmark, or more than one,  in a Bible.  I also like them for marking a recipe in a cookbook.  My large recipe binder is on my counter right this minute.  I want to make a recipe from it for supper tonight, but didn't want to leave the huge binder open taking up valuable counter space until then.  So a bookmark holds the place until I'm ready to open up the binder and start cooking!

This bookmark is not only simple and pretty, but it has the additional feature of a treasured small photo.  You could even use a photo of a favorite place or a beloved pet.

I know I have some of these frame charms in my crafting stash.  They would be perfect for this enchanting project!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

There will always be a Christmas

For Sundays during Christmas in July, I've been featuring newly discovered vintage Christmas cards with motifs that include churches.  I wish that the "large" photo size here permitted a closer look at the details, but it does not.  So be sure and click on the photo to enlarge it!

This scene has a lovely green background and a metallic gold edging.  A large white church with an ornate steeple, lighted windows, and a welcoming open door.  is at the right side of the design.  People are gathered outside the church.  It's hard to tell, but they may possibly be singing Christmas carols.  To the left of the design, a sleigh bearing more people is headed toward the church.  In the background is a house and many evergreen trees.  A leafless hardwood tree stands behind the church.

This card features a bit of encouraging Christmasy verse, trimmed up with a bit of holly.  It reads:

There will always be a CHRISTMAS
With its bright and SHINING STAR
So full of HAPPINESS and HOPE
No matter where we are.

Inside the card is another sweet little view of the horse, sleigh, and house -- all set against that pretty green background. 

I love vintage Christmas cards, don't you?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Memory games -- a great Christmas gift for young children

Photo by Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe
Can't we all use more creative ideas as gifts for kids?  I know that I can!  And sometimes when I come across a new idea, I think of projects I've made before and put them together in my mind to create something really special.  That just happened today when I spotted this Holiday Memory Matching Game for kids from Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe.

She designed the bags seen above to contain holiday Scrabble tiles to use as a memory matching game.  Young kids enjoy memory games and they are such a great tool to help them learn.

My own idea would involve using larger bags.  Kelly used the 3x5-inch size of muslin bags, but I saw 4x6 and 5x7-inch bags on Etsy, where she purchased hers.

So here's my idea.  I guess it was the title of Kelly's post -- "Holiday Memory Matching Game" -- that got me thinking.  In the past, I have made a couple different memory games using photos and Shutterfly offers. Here are screenshots of the front and back of a card from each game I made with Shutterfly.

 The Christmas season one was made for a little girl to see her faraway cousins' holiday traditions.

The logging equipment game was made for a little boy to see the machines Grampa works with.

Each memory game from Shutterfly has 12 scenes on it with 2 of each card -- so, 24 cards.  The game cards are 3 inches square.

So I thought, wouldn't it be nifty to combine my idea with Kelly's idea and make holiday memory games -- and then make decorated drawstring bags to put them in?  This would not only make a really nice gift presentation, but would provide a great way to store the game between uses.  I think I'll order some of the plain muslin bags (or, alternatively, make up a few) and have them ready for the next Shutterfly memory game I make!

Friday, July 26, 2019

A lovely decorating idea ... why not gather the supplies this summer?

Photo by Laura at Finding Home Farms
This Snow Globe Village Centerpiece  by Laura at Finding Home Farms is one of the prettiest centerpiece ideas I have seen.

I've made similar "snow globes" or terrariums in large jars before, but grouping a couple of them with other items like this is a new thought for me.  Laura mentioned that this entire idea got its start when someone offered her a large empty pickle jar.  The bottom of each jar was partially filled with loose artificial snow, then the glitter houses, bottle brush trees, and some candy canes placed inside.

(When I saw those jars with their lids painted red and green it just brought back precious memories of my grandmother.  Every jar in her pantry had a painted green lid and an ivy decal on the jar itself.  What a truly amazing woman she was!  How she would have loved Pinterest.)

A tray or shallow box will be necessary to place the jars in.   If you are handy or know someone who is, you can build your own.

Laura lined her box with purchased batting-like snow.  Then she placed in the filled jar snow globes and also tucked in another glittery house which wouldn't fit in a jar, along with more bottle brush trees and some ornaments.

She set the centerpiece on a simple paper table runner and added more trees and vintage ornaments.  What a cheery vintage look!  I absolutely love this idea.

So why not do a little shopping at yard sales, or shop your house and your Christmas stash, to see what ornaments and other goodies you can find for this project?  And when you're at a summer cookout or reunion, be sure to ask if you can have the empty pickle jar!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Let's celebrate Christmas in July with a cookie!

Photo and recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!
It's high time, I think, for one last recipe, and what better day to try out a new Christmas cookie than on July's Rudolph Day?  There could hardly be a more celebratory cookie than this one: Soft Frosted Chocolate Peppermint Cookies from Jamie Cooks It Up!.

These sound incredibly delicious -- starting with a soft, rich cookie made chocolatey with both cocoa powder and milk chocolate chips.  And brown sugar!  I think any chocolate cookie with brown sugar has a greater depth of flavor than one made with white sugar.  These are a molded or shaped cookie rather than a drop cookie -- that is, you form the dough into balls.   To my mind, this always produces a nicer looking cookie.

And then the frosting -- white chocolate and cream cheese will make it nice and creamy, and both peppermint and vanilla extracts (plus crushed candy canes on top) give the perfect flavor to top the chocolate cookies.  

I've learned to trust recipes from Jamie Cooks It Up!.  They are always scrumptious, easy to follow, and well written.  This looks like another keeper.

Happy Rudolph Day -- and please pass the cookies!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Christmas in July at my Etsy shop

Hi, everyone!  To celebrate Christmas in July even more, I'm running a special sale at my Etsy shop, A New Hampshire Attic! Selected listings will be 20% off from now through the end of the month. 

Note that this sale will include only items in the Vintage Christmas category. This might be a great time to purchase a few Christmas goodies for the coming holiday.  At the very least, you will want to go on over and see what's new!  This vintage card featuring a wreath of smiling faces is just one example.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

An Etsy shop you really should visit ... and a gift idea!

Above is a somewhat blurry photo of a lucite trivet with cross-stitch insert that I made for my tea-loving daughter one time.  I want to tell you about a wonderful Etsy shop that features cross-stitch designs.  I'm not going to try and show you photos from the shop (that's why I chose to use one of my own photos),  but if you enjoy counted cross stitch, or if you know someone who does, you need to hurry on over to Tiny Modernist

I am smitten with Cheryl's designs.  I love seeing other people's cross stitch projects on linen and so on, but they are not for me.  Some of the designs from Tiny Modernist that I have looked at are done on 14-count Aida and are such fun designs in pretty colors!  Others are done on linen, but an Aida substitution is possible.

There are some nice Christmas designs, like this set of four Vintage Christmas signs which are about 4 inches square and are very fun designs.

Even though this is a Canadian shop, there are no worries about shipping since the charts are available as instant downloads for personal use.  The designs may be stitched as gifts -- or, and this brings me to my gift idea -- the charts may also be given as gifts.

I plan on giving a couple of these charts as gifts -- I will not say which ones, just in case the intended recipients happen to read here -- and I plan to give the Aida and required floss along with the charts.

Here is an example of one of the cute summer designs: All the Fun of the Fair.  Isn't it so cute?  There's a baking sampler that I adore, sweet sayings in hoops, pretty seasonal samplers and much more.

I love this shop!  Enjoy your visit!

Monday, July 22, 2019

An easy gift to sew for kids

I mentioned this pattern last year in one of my December posts, but decided to share it again since it is so quick and easy.   (I hope that's not cheating, as I do try to keep my blog content fresh!) This apron would be an easy-breezy project to whip up in the summer!

The apron tutorial is here, if you are interested: Making it Fun.   You can find this apron tutorial in the right sidebar under the name Classic Apron Tutorial.  Click on the picture of the apron and the pdf appears for download or printing.

I am not sure I had ever made a reversible apron prior to this, but this is a great tutorial and so easy.  It went together so easily and was just plain fun to make.  I did choose to leave off the pocket, which is cute enough but completely unnecessary.

The tutorial has directions for both child and adult apron patterns.  The one at the top of the post was in the child size.  I made it for a very petite four-year-old, but I wanted it to fit her for a few years, so I didn't try to reduce the pattern in any way.

I made the one just above in between the child and adult sizes, which differed by a couple of inches.  Josiah is 11, and I wanted the apron to fit him for awhile. 

The only time-consuming part is making the pattern.  I used sheets of newspaper taped together.  Of course, once you get a particular size of pattern made, you can use it again and again.  I also made up one in the "adult" size to use for those older grandchildren who need larger aprons at this point.

Once the pattern is made, the pieces are simple to cut out and I would say that the entire process of stitching up one of these aprons takes less than a couple of hours.  More, of course, if you add the pocket.  That's rather fiddly.

This past December when I was considering simple handmade gifts, my daughter Joanna suggested aprons for her three oldest, since they had outgrown the [non-reversible] aprons I made when they were much younger.
Elliott's was made with Curious George fabric.  This is the same in-between size I cut for Josiah's.
I made Emily's in the adult size.  Hers is the same bird and blossom fabric as Arielle's, but with a pink and white stripe on the reverse side.
Darrin's was also in the adult size.  I used a classic ticking for one side and red on the other.  The red is fabric from a sheet I cut up to use for quillows.
 If you happen to be interested in making a chef hat (like the one Arielle is wearing at top) to match or coordinate with your apron, again go to : Making it Fun.  just above the apron picture is one called Chef Hat Tutorial.  Click on that photo, and again a pdf of the tutorial appears for download or printing.

Do you have kids in your life who could use an apron?  This is so quick you can make up a bunch of them this summer and have them ready for Christmas!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

"Christmas Joy" -- another pretty vintage card

Here is yet another vintage Christmas card featuring a church motif.  This one is from the 1950s or maybe the very early 1960s.  I love its unusual turquoise color!

Clusters of people are making their way to the village church which is the center of the scene.  The unusual colors used and the very slightly futuristic look of the church (especially the windows) make me think this is an early 1960s card with just a bit of a modern "space age" feel to it.  Tall, spare, leafless trees surround the buildings.

Inside the card is this greeting in two colors and two pretty vintage fonts:

Also inside the card is another version of the same scene, drawn from a different angle with the houses and church on snow-covered ground and the turquoise sky behind them.  In this approach to the scene one also sees a few evergreen trees ...

They really don't make Christmas cards like they used to!  This is a small, simple Christmas card, probably from a boxed assortment, but it sure has character.  Christmas joy to you!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

A festive ice cream flavor to try!

Photo from Craftstorming
What could be more perfect for Christmas in July than homemade ice cream?  Here's one of the most festive flavors of homemade ice cream that I've ever seen: Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cookie Dough!  It's from Laura at Craftstorming and is certainly an inspired thought as far as ice cream flavors are concerned.

I mean, chocolate chip cookie dough is a mainstream (and very good) flavor, but using gingerbread cookie dough in ice cream is just plain inspired.  The chocolate chip component comes in when you add dark chocolate chips to the cookie dough, and if that doesn't appeal to you, the chocolate chips can be omitted.  (But do keep an open mind; dark chocolate and gingerbread flavors are really good together.)

The really cool thing is that the gingerbread cookie dough recipe makes enough so that you can use half of it for the ice cream, and half to bake cookies with.  You will notice that this is a British recipe so you will need to "translate" some of the terms and measurements.  Here is a helpful tool for calculating the recipe amounts: Recipe Conversion Calculators.

I recently acquired a somewhat vintage electric ice cream maker (1990s; it uses salt and ice) and I am going to use it to give this recipe a try.   Try it yourself, and let us all know what you think!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Crocheted scarf for kids

I thought for sure I had posted about this scarf before, but I have not, apparently.  So right now, in July, would be a good time to whip up a bunch of these easy scarves for the kids in your life.  Here's the link, from Design Adventures: Child’s Textured Scarf.
A few years ago (it was 2013, actually -- I had to look it up!)  I made a number of these simple scarves.  My grandchildren, who had asked for scarves, loved them.  Apparently I was too busy to take photos of these at the time, however.  The photos in this post are from this past Christmas, when my daughter in Nevada asked if I would make scarves for her three youngest children who did not have them. 
It worked out perfectly, because I was at the point of wanting to make a few very simple handmade gifts again.  These scarves are so fast that I could easily get them done in time to send out west.

I do apologize for the quality of these photos.  I snapped them quickly -- just before wrapping and packing them, I would guess.  But you get the idea.  This is a nice textured pattern and so easy to do.  The kids in my life really like them.  So if you need a quick handmade gift for a child (especially one who likes to play outdoors in winter) this might be just the thing!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Two pretty vintage Christmas cards

As I've been sorting through items for my Etsy shop, A New Hampshire Attic,  I recently came upon two pretty, classic vintage Christmas cards.   Interestingly, both have titles.

The one you see here at the top of the post is titled "Christmas Memories".  Although it is muted in color, it boasts a wealth of details!

The only real color is in the very center of the picture: a sweet little red house with yellow light spilling from every window and smoke rising from the chimney.  There's also a little red bridge spanning the stream.

Other than these touches of color, the tints in this scene are very muted.  There are evergreen trees, leafless bushes, and a clump of birch trees.  There's a stream and a little waterfall.  The full moon, with a ring around it, shines overhead.

The edge of the card is scalloped and features evergreen sprigs in gold.  This scene also has touches of glitter.

The back of the card has a tiny, very similar scene complete with red house and bridge.  So sweet!
The second card is titled "Christmas Wishes".  It is slightly shiny, with a moire-like texture.

The background is a lovely green, much nicer than it shows up here.  A pretty garland of holly and poinsettias twines around the scene of a a horse and sleigh about to enter ... what do you think?  Is it a small barn or is it a covered bridge?  I'm leaning toward it being a bridge, but probably only the artist knew for sure.

This card is edged by a sweetly textured ruffle with touches of gold.  Just a very pretty card!

Hope my readers enjoyed this vintage sweetness as much as I did!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sweet little wooden sled ornaments to craft

Photo from Clean & Scentsible
Time for another craft, since the popsicle sticks and paint are likely still out from the last project!

Over the years, I've seen lots of these little sled ornaments made from popsicle sticks.  But these Popsicle Stick Sleds, from Jenn at Clean & Scentsible, are definitely a cut above the ordinary.

This project uses both the regular and mini sizes of craft sticks.  The regular size sticks, stained brown, become the sled's runners.  Most of these sleds that I have seen use paper clips for the runners, which is of course more realistic.  But I really like the look of these stained brown runners.

I also love the embellishments Jenn chose to use.  The natural looking greenery, along with the jingle bells, is such a classic woodsy look.  I have some tiny hemlock cones in my crafting stash, and I think some of those would work beautifully with the faux greenery to trim these sleds.

Yes, I'm planning to craft some of these.  How about you?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Simple mini cookbook

This simple little cookbook, with just a single category of recipes, might be the perfect thing to make for a stocking stuffer or include in a gift basket.  I just put one together to use as part of a bridal shower gift and was pleased with how well it came out.

For the shower gift, I had purchased a pizza pan and pizza cutter from the couple's wedding registry on Amazon, but wanted something small and a little more personal to give at the shower.  I made this little pizza cookbook and then also tucked in some handmade hot mats and an Italian seasoning spice grinder. I'm hoping that when the couple want pizza for supper, this little cookbook will be easy and quick to leaf through and just find a recipe.
Back of cookbook
Obviously the sky is the limit with recipe categories.  You could do cookie recipes, strawberry recipes, chocolate recipes, doughnut recipes -- on and on.

You can really get creative in planning the covers as well.  I'm thinking right now you could design your own -- maybe even include a photo if you like -- and print it out on plain card stock.

All you need to make one of these little charmers is:

4x6-inch recipe cards
Hole punch
Carabiner clip or looseleaf binder ring
Card stock of your choice
Laminating film if desired
Stickers or other embellishments

You can use any recipe cards you like.  I did a whole post about printable recipe cards a few years back and you will find some great designs there:  Recipe Cards.  I was planning to just print out some cards from one of these sources,  but then I spotted some Gooseberry Patch recipe cards that I had on hand, so chose to use those.

The next step is to choose what recipes you will use and write out one recipe per card.

Next, design your covers.  I cut mine from double-sided card stock and made the covers just about a quarter inch larger that the recipe cards.  I chose to go pretty simple and just spell out "Pizza Recipes" with stickers that resemble typewriter keys.

I laminated both front and back covers with laminating film.  This wasn't strictly necessary,  but I did it to help keep the covers clean and also to ensure that the stickers (which I've had for quite awhile) would stay in place.

Then you just punch a hole in the top left corner of each card.  Line the covers up with the cards so the hole will match up and punch a hole in front and back covers.  Slip the recipe cards  and covers onto the looseleaf binder ring or  carabiner clip, whichever you are using.
You can see that I chose to include some favorite dessert pizzas in the collection, as well!
Your cookbook is finished!  Now you will probably want to make another.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Mini Pallet Sign Ornaments from The Crafted Sparrow

Photo from The Crafted Sparrow
Popsicle stick crafts are absolutely perfect for Christmas in July!  Kids enjoy working with this simple crafting medium, and so will you.  These Mini Pallet Sign Christmas Ornaments by Rebecca at The Crafted Sparrow look quite simple to put together.

 You build the little pallets first using popsicle sticks and a glue gun.  Then you whitewash them, let them dry, and stencil your holiday designs on them using acrylic craft paint.  Jute is added later as a hanger.

Rebecca used a Cricut machine to design and cut her stencils, but I wouldn't let the lack of a Cricut keep me from crafting these sweet ornaments.  I have many, many stencils on hand in my craft closet, and I plan to use some of them to make some of these mini pallets.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

An unusual and lovely vintage card

This card is so unusual!  I've never seen one just like it before.  There's a scene inside the house -- a snowy windowpane, framed by striking red curtains, and a colorful little Christmas tree on the window sill.

Then outdoors, a full moon rises over a sleepy, snow-covered village.  There's a ring around the moon, so snow is on the way.  In fact, it appears to have begun already!

There are touches of glitter in the folds of the curtains, on the little Christmas tree, and on the snow that drifts on the windowpane.  At the top, a greeting in a pretty vintage font declares, "It's Christmas".

Inside the card is a vignette depicting the same village, only seen more clearly.  The church is prominent, and I love that.  On the back of the card is the little Christmas tree again.

The message in the card reads: "Within your home good health, Around your hearth good cheer -- The jolliest kind of Christmas And the happiest New Year."

I love this card; it's most likely from the 1950s.  Hope you've enjoyed seeing it too!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

An idea for a kitchen gift: Easy Salted Caramel Fudge

Photo from Something Swanky
Here's an easy fudge recipe to try out on your family now.  If they like it, you can file this one away for making kitchen gifts come December.  It's Easy Salted Caramel Fudge from Ashton at Something Swanky.  Summer vacation, when many have kids or grandkids around to help enjoy sweet treats, might be the perfect time to try this out.  Older kids could even try making the recipe!

This is indeed easy -- it's similar to many recipes you may have seen that call for  chocolate chips plus sweetened condensed milk.  This one uses dulce de leche in place of the sweetened condensed milk, and uses white chocolate chips.  Dark or milk chocolate chips are melted and spread on top, then a sprinkle of sea salt is added.

I'm definitely trying this one out.  What about you?

Friday, July 12, 2019

Time for a fun Christmas poem!

I found this one in the 1957 Christmas issue of Ideals magazine.  The poem's author shares how she knew what season it was just by what was happening in her mother's kitchen.  It's a fun and nostalgic remembrance in verse!

No Calendar Needed 

For many years a calendar
hung on our kitchen wall
And Mother checked the busy days 
and seasons as they'd fall, 
But no calendar was needed 
To know the time of year:
By the fragrance of her kitchen
I knew the season near!

The aroma of hot chile
When the wintry air was cold:
The rhubarb custards cooling
when spring's magic would unfold;
Bubbling jellies in the kettle
when the summer heat was high;
And in frosty, tangy autumn, 
whiffs of spicy pumpkin pie!

True, no calendar was needed
for an eager child to know
That Christmas time was coming!
Mother hurried to and fro
Making special sugar cookies
and our maple sugar candy.
While she whistled Christmas carols,
We knew everything was dandy!

Gingerbread in the pantry
and the fruitcake in the jar
Teased your nostrils every minute --
Oh, the day could not be far!
We cracked nutmeats on the flatiron,
and strung popcorn for the tree,
And every hour was heaven
In the kitchen, seems to me!

Mother in her big white apron
with some flour on her cheek
Is the dearest recollection
of my cherished Christmas week;
A calendar was useless, 
but the essence was bewitchin'
And you always knew 'twas Christmas
by the fragrance in the kitchen!

-- Lolita Pinney

This light verse really resonated with me because I grew up in a home with a kitchen just like this one, and enjoyed many of the same activities described here.  At the time, I didn't really understand how blessed I was.  Now I do!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Crochet-embellished gift tags

Photo from A Spoonful of Sugar
Here's another fun idea for gift tags that are unique and special and could easily be worked on this summer.  These simple crochet gift tags are another nifty idea from Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar.

These are so simple and quick!  The crochet motifs are just tiny granny squares made with perle cotton.  The little squares are then affixed to blank tags.

This could be a nice little project to work on at the beach.  A lazy day at the lake could yield big dividends in the form of a nice little stash of cute tags all ready for Christmas!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Snowman Ornament from felt and a clothespin

Is it hot and humid where you are today?  It sure is here, although I must say there is a nice little breeze which is helping a good deal.

Making a snowman ornament might be nearly as helpful (although it does involve hot glue), so I'm sharing this Clothespin Snowman Ornament from Kimberly at Serendipity Refined.  Kids would surely enjoy making this ornament,  but the snowman has a nice classic look that pretty much anyone would enjoy on their Christmas tree!

This sweet snowman ornament is made with materials nearly every crafter would have on hand.  I could go to my craft closet right now and pull out everything I would need to make one of these.  In fact, I just might do that!

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

A sweet little handmade gift

Photo from Flamingo Toes
 How about a little project you might be able to work on at the beach, or at the very least on the porch or patio with a lemonade or iced tea within reach?  These Sweet Lavender Sachets from Bev at Flamingo Toes would make a  nice little gift or stocking stuffer.

The fabrics Bev has used are lovely and perfect for summer.  But one could also use Christmasy fabrics as well.  Bev also suggests using other fragrances besides lavender, and I think Balsam fir would be particularly nice for Christmas.  In case you didn't save last year's Christmas tree needles for this purpose (and really, very few people would) you can actually buy Maine Fir Balsam Tips
 from the Kittery Trading Post in Maine.   You can get a whole pound of them for $13.99.

Have fun with this sweet craft idea!

Monday, July 08, 2019

Italian Ricotta Cookies with a Christmasy twist from Cooking Classy

Photo is from Cooking Classy
It is really time for a recipe here in the Christmas kitchen!  A Christmas cookie recipe, to be specific!  These Italian Ricotta Cookies are from Jaclyn at Cooking Classy and look absolutely delicious and so festive.

Although we don't always think about turning on our ovens to bake cookies in July, I think that this year we might find a day or two when we actually want to do so.  There have been a number of dark, chilly, rainy days in June and I won't be a bit surprised if we also see some of those in July.  It would be the perfect time to try a cookie recipe!

I've made Italian Ricotta Cookies in the past and they really are delicious.  I've always decorated them with just regular multicolored sprinkles.  But I love the festive touches that Jaclyn has added with a variety of Christmas sprinkles and trims.

I'm looking forward to trying Jaclyn's recipe sometime this month.  I have a container of ricotta waiting in the fridge.  I hope you enjoy these classic cookies if you try them.  I think they would be perfect with a glass of lemonade!

Sunday, July 07, 2019

A lovely Christmas card and quote

Isn't the above card simply beautiful?  It is for sale in my Etsy shop, but I wanted to share it with all of my readers -- not just because of its artwork, which is truly lovely, but because of a wonderful quote inside it.  I know that the scan is quite small, but if you just click on the picture, it should come up full size and you can see the details.

The rather impressionistic scene depicts a village and brick church at evening.  The sky is a glorious color and snow appears to be falling.  A few people are gathered outside the lighted church.  Perhaps choir practice has just ended. 

Inside the card, in addition to the message "With many good wishes for Christmas and the New Year", there is a lovely quote from Dr. Peter Marshall.  Dr. Marshall -- in case you haven't ever heard of him -- was a well-known preacher.  He was born in Scotland and emigrated to the United States at the age of 24.  In time he became the pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.  In 1946 he was appointed as US Senate Chaplain, serving from January 4, 1947 until his sudden death of a heart attack just over two years later. He was only 46 years old.  A Man Called Peter,  by Catherine Marshall,  is Peter Marshall's biography.  I believe it was made into a film as well.

Here is the quote from Dr. Marshall:  "I thank God for Christmas.  Would that it lasted all year.  For on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, all the world is a better place, and men and women are more lovable.  Love itself seeps into every heart, and miracles happen ...".
I don't know if that is actually true any more.  I'm sure there are people who would rather it was not true.  But it is a lovely quote all the same, and the card illustration speaks of a happier time.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

From the Christmas wrappings box

For your nostalgic pleasure, here are some items from the vintage Christmas wrappings box.  Some are listed in my Etsy shop, A New Hampshire Attic.   Others were listed there, but have sold.  And a few of these things are not for sale, such as old tattered wrapping paper that I scanned just for the memories.  Enjoy!

A set of vintage tags from the 1980s
A tiny Santa card that could work as a gift enclosure
Cute vintage candy box
Top of candy box, with string handle
This Treasure Masters Christmas sachet might have been tucked into a card or a gift
A snippet from vintage wrapping paper
Dennison Christmas Seals!!
A skating scene from vintage wrapping paper
This gorgeous scene is one of my favorite vintage wrapping papers.
Which of these finds triggers precious memories for you?