Friday, December 30, 2011

O' Christmas Tree

Here is a jewelry tree that I am just finishing up. Imagine that! I have had this stashed away because I ended up not liking it when I was done with it. It holds at least one piece of jewelry from each of my grandmothers and my mother. My sister made one of these to hang at Christmas time and I adored it so I tried to duplicate it. It is funny how different they turned out. My sister's tree is pastels and is so pretty! My sister-in-law made one as well out of really old jewelry pieces from her great aunt and has a lot of rhinestones. It is gorgeous. I am still not super fond of how mine turned out but I am happy to have it almost done. All I have to add is the small shaped pieces for my kids to play 'I Spy' with. My mother made the drawing of the tree on poster board so each of us could use it. She is a good artist. Most of my jewelry came from the local thrift store but there are a few cherished pieces in there. I do hope it will be passed down and cherished for a few generations. The back board is a piece of foam board that I used spray adhesive on to attach the black velvet to. I reinforced this by tacking the velvet to the back. I purchased the frame at a thrift store. The outline of the tree is simply a string of gold beads glued on the velvet. I used "liquid nails" for gluing the jewelry pieces on. It was a fun project to work on and my favorite part is trying to find the hidden objects.

New Years Bunnies?

I started this, like so many other projects a few years back and then it just sat in my craft room because I cannot stand sewing by hand. I have been sitting by the fire the past few days and decided to pull it out and finish the hand stitching on it so it would be ready for Easter. It is just some old wool cut into the shape of bunnies and eggs and then everything is blanket stitched around with a few embroidery stitches on the eggs. I have a long kitchen table and I like to have themed things on it for different holidays. I will most likely place a wooden bowl in the center of this runner.

Friday, December 23, 2011


I love the holidays and the traditions we make to go along with them. Gingerbread houses are one of my favorite such traditions. This year, I was planning on making this a mother/daughter tradition because last year, my boys only decorated theirs halfheartedly. I decided to make one for the broken foot boy and he participated! He was in such pain trying to sit at the table for any amount of time so he lay on the floor and elevated his foot while decorating his house between bouts of pain. I had fun helping him and my daughter was gracious enough to be all on her own this year. She even made Santa's sleigh and reindeer! I enjoy spending time with my kids.

Not for the squeamish at heart.

My 14 year old boy broke his foot in P.E. last Friday. He said the coach asked them to remove their shoes to play an indoor baseball game so as not to get the mats dirty! My boy was jumping on base and his foot bent in half. Here is a picture of it the first day...keep in mind, this is my super skinny boy without an ounce of fat on his entire body. He has gym class last hour and when he hopped in, there was only one HUGE lump on the top of his foot but by the time he sat down and took the shoe off his good foot, the entire thing was swollen and white.
He told me not to take him to the emergency room that his coach had said to wait. I took him anyway. It is a misplaced fracture of the second metatarsal and a slightly damaged growth plate. We had to see an orthopedic surgeon who said where Holden is young and healthy, he would like to wait four weeks and then see how it is healing before performing surgery if needed.
I took more pictures of the foot today as he has a removable cast and we were icing it. It has been a week and the swelling has noticeably gone down. The bruising is even starting to look better. Notice how his whole entire foot is a bruise. His toes are bruised on top and underneath, his ankles are bruised along with both sides and the bottom of his foot.
I do hope it heals on its own and doesn't require surgery.
Looking at the bright side, he has a while before he has to go back to school with the holiday upon us. He only missed four days last week.


Penguins on Parade!

I saw these on the web. They were too adorable not to make! This is way easy. You just cut a wedge in the carrot and push it through a small olive to make the beak. Then slit the jumbo olive and fill it with cream cheese to make the tummy. The ones I saw on the internet had green onion scarves tied around their necks as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chocolate factory

My kitchen transforms into a chocolate factory during the months of November and December. I am crazy for chocolate. I really don't have to eat a ton of it...but I am so crazy about making it. I don't know why this happens to appeal to me....maybe because it is a challenge and I like to take it on. I have been making these chocolates for four weeks. At least for 4 hours a day excluding the weekends. The Grand Opera Cream that is Maple Nut flavored took me six and a half hours to just make the center. I think the lady where I buy my chocolate from thought I was nuts! This is true...but wait until you sink your teeth into one of the rum balls! They are my favorite! I have been making candy...or rather learning to make candy for about 5 years now. This is the very first year that I finally achieved the SNAP! I was so excited! This has to do with how you temper your chocolate and "seed" it. Thanks to Youtube videos on chocolate tempering, I was finally successful in making my chocolate snap when you bite into it. Yay. I love to share and these will go to neighbors, the kids school teachers, family, my son's co-workers and they will be served for the Christmas home tour at my house this year. Here are the pictures of why I have not put on make-up or done much else besides live, breathe and eat chocolate!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A few of my favorite things

I absolutely love the Holiday season! I love all the things that go along with it. I love the smells of pine and cinnamon. I love the Christmas music. I love the yummy treats and warm drinks. I love doing things anonymously for others. I love the sharing and giving and the cheer. I love to decorate and adorn the house with garlands, wreaths and trees. One of my favorite decorations is the tree-toppers I have glued into candlestick holders. I picked most of these up at the local thrift store and they adorn my mantle or piano every year. They add a nice splash of color and a point of interest. Children seem to be fascinated by them.

The warmth and coziness of a wood fire is another of my loves this time of year. It is four degrees this morning and the fire feels the best on days like this. I much prefer a wood stove to heat my home...but this is what came in the home I am renting right now. It doesn't heat as well as a stove but is still very nice. I have seasoned lodge pole pine that burns nice and hot. I really enjoy hauling wood in the fall with the guys. My dad and brother went this year on the weekend I was having a sale and I didn't get to cut any wood for next year. I hope to make the few cords I have last! The sound of dry crackling wood is comforting.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Best Breadsticks!

These are super easy and fast. My sister gave this recipe to me. I am not sure where she got it. In fact, she had to give it to me several times.....I kept misplacing it. :) I tend to write recipes on whatever is handy and then they never get filed in my drawer where they go. This one is written on a paper shoe print. :)

1 and 1/2 c. warm water
1 Tblsp. yeast
3 Tblsp. sugar
3 c. flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning

Combine yeast, sugar and water. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Add the yeast mixture to this. Mix well. Melt butter in a 9x13 pan. Roll out dough and cut into 1 and 1/2 inch strips. Place these in the pan turning to coat each side with butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Let raise. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.