Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Celebrating: Christmas!

Its hard to believe Christmas is just about here!  I have one of those electronic billboards outside my office window and one of the advertisements has had the countdown to Christmas and this morning when I glanced up it said 5 days to Christmas. Wow - that happened overnight!  As a child, it seemed to take foreveeeeeer to reach Christmas day. Now the time just flies once Thanksgiving passes.

No problems for me, this 5 days before Christmas for I had all my presents purchased and wrapped 2 weeks ago, so I have been able to enjoy the season.  I still have some baking to do, but I think that will be done this weekend!

Decorating was started the day after Thanksgiving with the Tree the last thing to complete.  It was being held hostage in the attic and I had to wait for someone to rescue it for me!  It was the first time in 3 years I have put up the tree since I have a VERY curious little four legged daughter.  I have decorated everything except for a tree each year, but this year I decided to press my luck, so I put up the tree. I did let it sit empty for a couple of days in hopes she would lose interest.  No such luck!  For the 2st 2 days after it was decorated,  the ribbon was askew, the tree skirt bunched and ornaments scattered across the house.  Eventually she did lose interest and the ornaments (most of the time) remain on the tree. I will admit to a little help with a spray bottle.

Below is my "kitty tree." The ornaments are "kitties ornaments" that have been collected for many years.  It was so much fun seeing these ornaments after 3 years and remembering where they all came from.  As you know, when someone knows you collect a certain item, that is the present you get for Birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions, so I have lots to display. I have quite a collection and had many that did not make it to the tree since I was avoiding any dangling objects at the bottom and just a swat away from being thrown from the tree.

The Kitty Tree

Can I just say, I loved my mantle this year. I was going for a vintage look and think it turned out quite nice.

I used my built in bookcase to display my Christmas collections of Santas, Nativity Sets and Angels. I always hate to put up all my Santa's for they make me happy seeing them all on the shelves.

So, this is  bit of my Christmas!  Hope you enjoyed my tour of decorations!

I wish each of you the very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013!

Ya'll come back!

May the Lord bless his people with peace and happiness and let them Celebrate! Psalm 64:10 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Celebrating: A Very Crafty Christmas!

After having found Pinterest a little over a year ago, I will have to say my "crafting" skills have definitely been exercised!  As much of a foodie as I am, I have to say I'm on the Craft and Holiday categories more than the Food sites!  Over the course of a year I have seen so many adorable things to make for the holidays.  And as I have stated before, the original idea may not be mine, but I can generally recreate what I see and have learned to adapt to the things I have on hand in my craft stash!  Those useless items I pick up on the Clearance rack at Hobby Lobby, can come in handy some times!

If you recall, last Spring I made a double Topiary out of Spring Flowers.  When making it last Spring, I thought it would fun making one for Christmas using magnolia flowers.  I knew exactly who I wanted to make this for...my friend Cindy.  Cindy's house at Christmas time could rival The Biltmore Estate. Seriously - it is spectacular and really should be on a Christmas tour of Homes.
Her kitchen and Dining Room are burgandy, so I decided to do burgandy magnolias. (she almost didn't get this, I wanted to keep it myself)

I saw Snowmen candle holders made from various sizes of Wine Glasses.  I took the concept and made it my own.  You can also display these a couple of different ways. This was a fun project!
Glasses and battery candles came from the Dollar Store and with just a little "elbow grease" you have a cute inexpensive gift.  I gave these to my "Bible study girls" along with a bag of Chocolate Bark.

I added  "footie" and set the battery candle in the dome for another look!

I saw some cute Jingle Bell Candle Sticks ON SALE for $44.50.  I loved them, but at that price, Amazon could keep them!  While in the (you guessed it) Dollar Store I saw a package of 8 large bells for $1.00 and my brain started spinning - how could I recreate those candlesticks .  The ones I had seen were red,  they didn't have red, but silver would work!  This project had a bit of a challenge.  The base and actual candle holder looked like cymbals from a tambourine and I just could not find anything similar.  So I started trying to adapt.  I found some wooden stars to use as the base and I do confess that I destroyed a toy tambourine we had to get the 4 cymbals. My jingle bell candlesticks just cost $1.00 for the Jingle Bells and $1.00 for the wooden stars, but when my niece finds out later that she no longer has a toy tambourine, I may just have to do a little damage control for that item.

I love being able to make adaptations - whether in the Craft Room or the kitchen.  The recipe (and I use the term lightly) below falls under the category of 'adaptable."   You just use a base of White Chocolate discs and the possibilities are endless.  I make Barks all the time.  They are quick and easy.  Sometimes I mix everything together, sometimes I pour out my chocolate on a parchment covered cookie sheet and top the melted chocolate.  There are also several difference colors available so you can adapt it to different functions!  Break up your bark, put it in Christmas treat bags and tie with a festive ribbon and you have a great Hostess gift! 


Melt chocolate, pour onto parchment covered cookie sheet.


Cranberries and Pistachios make a great Christmas offering

Toasted coconut and toasted almonds

Peanuts or Raisins

Just open your pantry and let your imagination run! 

My favorite - I had several different kinds of mini candybars after Christmas one year.  I chopped up the candy bars, added peanuts and sprinkled over the melted chocolate.  Candy Bar Bark!  What a great way to use up that leftover holiday candy!

Ya'll come back!


May the Lord bless his people with peace and happiness and let them CELEBRATE!  Psalm 64:10