Friday, December 28, 2012

Family Christmas Time

I'll be attending my extended Family Christmas tomorrow and most of my presents are wrapped (or bagged) :)  Each family brings a dish, I bring French Pork Pie.  We always have too much food, delicious!!!  Each family also brings homemade Christmas Cookies.  I made three different kinds this year: cherry chocolate cookies with frosting, chocolate walnut bars, and crescents made with finely chopped pecans.  The crescent recipe is from my grandmother's church cookbook and it's her recipe.   Each year I open that little church cookbook to the well worn page, covered in grease spots and I think of her as I prepare and bake these melt in your mouth cookies.  She lived in Boston and she stayed with my folks over the holidays. We had a large extended family celebration with grandparents, aunts, uncles, greats aunts, cousins, my brothers and sister.  Then years later we added  husbands, wives, nieces and nephews.  My grandmother, Nana, played Christmas songs and we would sing along.  So many wonderful memories come up this time of the year.  I am reminded of all my relatives who have left us.  I miss them.  But the new generation of family members is special and carry on the tradition of our Family Christmas.

 For me Christmas is about family and friends.  This year our Family Christmas party is going to be a little smaller for us. Some family members are no longer with us, some of our friends are unable to come because of medical (good news, kidney transplant) reasons, my granddaughter had her wisdom teeth out today and isn't feeling up to celebrating.  But many of us will be there and we will have a good time together, laughing and making new memories.

Our gifts to each other usually consist of homemade goodies along with maybe a dish towel or wooden utensil.  Jelly,Jam, Bread, Chex Mix, Fudge are just a few of the goodies.

This year I'm giving a wooden stir-fry utensil, handmade by Ronnie, along with kitchen towels and some spiced oyster crackers.  I got the cute Santa bags at the grocery store for 1/2 price because Christmas is over for most.  Another year is upon us, Best to All!

Check out All if you're interested in making some Spiced Crackers for the New Year.  Easy to make using: oyster crackers, some cooking oil, dill weed, package of dry ranch dressing, and a couple of other things.  Bake in the oven on a cookie sheet and there you go!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's A Good Day/Weekend!

My dear friend Eleanor (Muffie) has been waiting for a kidney transplant for three years.  Last night she got the call she has been waiting for.  She went to Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital his afternoon and she has a new kidney.  She is doing well after surgery and I'm going to seen her tomorrow!

I had my Christmas celebration with my children and grandchildren last night.  We had a very good time even with so many people in my small living room.  Joy All Around!

We will have an extended, large family celebration next Saturday at my niece's house.  Probably about twenty five family and friends!  We all miss my brother so much and this holiday will be our first without him.  But it will be good to get together and see everyone.

Because our children are all adults and have children and in-laws, we work out our celebrations to try and accommodate everyone.  It's worked out for us for several years and we look forward to it each Christmas.  So many wonderful memories from years past, now on to make more!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Dinner with Friends

Each year I have a few friends over for dinner and a Craft.  This year we enjoyed each other's company, they watched me cook as they visited and after we ate we made some Heart House Ornaments.  They seemed happy with their finished ornament and some plan to make more.

I'm looking forward to having my adult children and grandchildren join me for our Christmas Celebration early this year, Sat. 23rd.  Everyone has commitments and this works out for us.  Then later in December we will have the "big" family Christmas with siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and close friends, usually around 30 people.  This has been a tradition in my family since I was a small child and it has continued beautifully through the years.

Tomorrow is present wrapping time!!

Blessings to all the children, teachers and families in Ct.

Peace, Diane

Friday, December 14, 2012

Carpenter's Gone, Now I Must Paint

The carpenter has come and gone.  Now all I need to do is paint, paint, paint!
Then have carpet put down.  All my sewing supplies and fabric will have their own place and I'll have a peaceful place to work and play!  The new year is looking good so far.

I'm hosting my annual Dinner at Diane's for a few of my close friends.  It's a nice addition to my holiday celebrations.  After dinner we have "craft time" and this year we will be making the House and Heart ornaments.  I've made templates, gathered scissors and glue sticks so the craft time is all set.  The menu has finally been decided will be Roast Pork Loin with herbs, red potatoes and fresh string beans.  One of my friends is bringing a salad and another a cranberry sauce.

Last minute me, I'm setting up my Christmas tree, decorating it and cleaning up the house a bit.  I have a few more decorations I'd like to set up.

Here are a coupe of photos of the other wall in my sewing room.  New storage in the knee wall!  Love it!

Happy Day!


 It is finished off more than this now, when they took a lunch break I went up a took a few pics.
I'll post an updated photo of the room soon.  Have a good day!

Friday, December 7, 2012

How To--Heart House Ornament

I can't take full credit for the design of this ornament.  I found the instructions for this ornament on another Blog: This is an excellent Blog with instructions to make so many things!  She ran a series of holiday ornaments and this was her final installment last year. Thanks Michele!

 I have a lot of old Christmas cards and I liked the look of this ornament so I gave it a try!

I made a few changes to her directions, but not many.

l.  Supplies you'll need:   Old Christmas cards, scissors, permanent glue stick, clothes pins or clips, string, beads and template paper.  I used water color paper but any would work.

2.  Make the template for the heart house.  Mine is approximately 3 1/2".  Fold the template paper in half and draw half of the house.  Each side of the house must be exactly the same, ie. mirror image.

3. Using your template, trace and cut out 12 heart houses. I choose cards with similar colors.  (Keep the little heart cut-outs for another project.)

4. Take a house and turn it over to the back and apply glue to the left side only. ( * Always apply glue to left side back of each card.)  

5. Apply glue to the second card.

Turn over one house and place it on to the other, putting the glue free side on to the glued side of the first card.  It sounds confusing I know, but once you get going, it's easy.

6.  I glued up four houses at a time, 3 sets.  Then I glued them all together to make the ornament. 

7. Clamp and let dry.

8. Gather your sting and beads.
 Thread both ends of the string up through the center of the heart houses.  Pull to the top and add another bead on the string.  Tie the ends to make a hanger.  Apply some glue to the peak of the house to secure the top bead. (I use white craft glue for this.)

*An alternative to this process, is to put a knot in the end of the string, add a wooden bead, put the string up through the center of the houses, add another bead, glue to secure and tie off the string making a loop for hanging the ornament.

You're Done, your Heat House Ornament is ready to hang!
I hope you enjoy your hand made ornament using "re-claimed" Christmas cards!

Happy Holidays to All!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sewing Room Re-do & Bud Vase

The carpenter got in touch with me this week.  He had told me that he wouldn't be able to work  on the other side of my sewing room until December.  I called to give him a little reminder as I'm anxious to finish up the room and start enjoying it!  He'll be here a week from this Monday and I'm so happy!!!  More storage and a sunny room to work in!

We did a fair in New London, NH today.  Very nice fair with quite a few booths.  This was our first year and we definately plan to return next year.  Ronnie did very well selling his hand crafted wooden utensils and shawl/hair pins and disks sets.  He also sold one of the new small bud vases that he's made.  We'll be giving larger ones to family for Christmas.

It snowed out today but the weather is warming up over the next few days so it will all be gone by tomorrow afternoon.  I like having snow in December, gets me in the spirit of the holidays.  But we don't need too much snow! : )

Here's a photo of one of the bud vases made from cherry wood.  They are nice for dried flowers or fresh.  You can also put small beads in the clear holder or maybe colored sand when you use dried flowers or weeds for a different look.  Lots of options.

Have a great week!