Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Year In Review

Today, Cindy is hosting her annual "Year in Review" party.
Be sure to check out the participant links from her blog - lots of eye candy, for sure!

My year end mosaic represents just a few of my favorite projects and photos from 2009. It was difficult keeping it to only 15 photos. Good thing I managed, or you'd need a magnifying glass...

2009 was a wonderful year in our home, for which we are truly thankful.

I want to take a moment and thank YOU, my faithful blog readers. Your comments this past year, both here and in person, have meant so much to me! I appreciate your kindness more than you'll ever know - so THANK YOU!!!

As we all look forward to the coming year, let us remember what truly is, most important.

Another Year Is Dawning
- Frances R. Havergal

Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting, Another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, Another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days;

Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness In the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning Upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, Of quiet, happy rest,-

Another year of service, Of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training For holier work above.
Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be,
On earth, or else in heaven, Another year for Thee.

Wishing you much happiness in 2010 - Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last Minute Gift Making

Christmas vacation is so wonderful! Since we're not running here and there, the house is clean, and most of the Christmas cooking and baking is complete, I found time to create a couple last minute gifts - and one of 'em is a gift to me!
Using pieces from felted wool sweaters, I made these scarves.
A completely practical accessory turned ultra chic!
I so enjoy playing with felted wool. The possibilities of what to make are endless.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Goody Goody Gumdrops

Do you remember these?
This "candy blossom" tree stands about 5" tall. A dime store good from days gone by, still makes such a cheerful sight!
With lots of yummy gumdrops around, I decided to make gumdrop cookies. I was so excited to have my hubby try 'em, 'cause they turned out good. Well, he took one look at them and said, "you know I don't eat anything with candied fruit!" I'm thinking my Christmas baking would last longer if I told him everything had candied fruit in it. Ha!
Gumdrop Cookies

1 C lard (I used 1/2 C butter & 1/2 C shortening)
1 C sugar
1C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C coconut
2 C oatmeal
1 C gumdrops (cut into smaller pieces)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
2 C flour

Mix sugar, vanilla, and lard, add flour, soda, and baking powder alternately with beaten eggs. Add coconut, gumdrops, and oatmeal. Drop on greased cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Felted Wool Gift Bags

I made these cute little gift bags for the girls teachers. I drew up a simple 3 piece pattern, sewed the pieces together, and embellished with lime green holly leaves and vintage rhinestone buttons. We then filled the bags with yummy treats...
like homemade peppermint bark. Mmmm
I don't follow a recipe per se, but this is how I make my peppermint bark:

Approximately 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp peppermint extract
8 oz white chocolate
Andes peppermint crunch (crushed candy canes would work also)

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl with 3/4 tsp shortening in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir chocolate until melted and smooth, stir in peppermint extract. Pour onto a buttered - foil lined cookie sheet. Let harden. Meanwhile melt the white chocolate and a 1/2 tsp shortening in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir until melted and smooth. Spread over chocolate layer being careful not to mix the semi-sweet layer into the white layer. Sprinkle Andes peppermint crunch over the white layer, pressing the pieces into the white chocolate so they stick well. Cool completely, then break into bite size pieces.
Store in a tin in the refrigerator.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Vintage Christmas Blow Molds

One of my favorite new old Christmas decorations this year - vintage blow molds!
Most are from the 60's - early 70's made by Empire Plastics.
You can't help but smile watching them glow!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Wreath

The other day, I put together this wreath, using some of my vintage ornaments. For the last few years, I've displayed my old ornaments in apothecary jars - but I needed a change. I'm loving how my new wreath looks hung over the mirror above our mantel!
For the base of my wreath, I upcycled a few ornaments that I still had from the 90's. Remember how popular rose and slate blue were back then? Oh my!
I wanted silver only for the base of my wreath, so I ran these ornaments under hot tap water,
and peeled off the outdated color. I was left with perfect shiny silver, just what I needed!
I was careful not to get water inside the ball, it can wash out the silver, too.
Been there, done that.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Fun in Downtown Seattle

Last weekend, we celebrated two birthdays in our house. Daphne turned 5 and Sydney turned 7. Both girls wanted to go up in the Space Needle, so that's where we headed Saturday night. No trip downtown during the holidays would be complete without a ride on the Monorail, shopping Westlake Center, posing in front of the Macy's star, and riding on the holiday carousel, so we did those things too!
It was a perfect clear, calm and cold night to enjoy our beautiful city.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Paper Snowflakes

My girls love to create paper snowflakes, and have been busily cutting out many. The thing is, the kind they're making, creates such a terrible mess. I've had enough! I'm done cleaning up all of the tiny paper confetti scraps throughout the house - ugh!
The other day, we made these instead
and here is how:
cut 6 - 5" paper squares.
Fold the square in half diagonally to make a triangle. If your triangle isn't perfect, trim the edge that sticks out.
Cut 3 parallel lines on each side of the triangle from the fold towards the point, making sure your cuts come close to meeting in the middle, but don't touch.
Unfold the square, and roll the center points together. Secure with glue. (I used hot glue - btw)

To form the next roll, take the next two paper lines and glue them together on the opposite side of the center tube.

Continue joining each paper line together on opposite sides until all are joined. Repeat this process on the remaining 5 paper squares.

Next, glue 3 completed pieces together at one end.

Now one half of the snowflake assembled. Next, join together the remaining 3 pieces for the other half.

Glue both halves together in the center.

I then placed a bit of glue where each of the 6 pieces meet. This helps hold the snowflake together and makes a nice shape.

I'll be adding a bit of glitter to the flakes soon, they need some sparkle!
Overall, a much less messy snowflake project to create with the girls, and I didn't have to vacuum when we were done - whoohoo!