Monday, December 26, 2011

Contact with the outside world

I am very sad that I cannot call you this morning. Shaun and Mike took off into the woods earlier and I felt all contact with the outside world was gone. I thought... oh I'll drink my coffee and call her. But alas.. there my little phone lay dead on the bench. PooPoo. I guess I have to get ready and go out. Oh Well. That's what I get for getting snockered and doing jumping jacks with a hoodie on.

I wanted to share this ladies' website with you before Christmas and didn't because I planned on making the clothespin ornaments instead of the bird seed wreaths but I didn't have enough clothespins that I wanted to get rid of. I completely plan on having a clothesline at the day care trailer and didn't see the sense in wasting them. So I only made one and kept it.

Anyhow, here it is. It's not Pinterest but it's goooood. She has got some fabulous ideas.

I LOVE the pots in wooden frames. Fab idea and why have I never used Gorilla glue. It expands. I have to buy some today.

I might make cinnamon rolls when I get back from the phone store in a bit if you want to come over and play.

P.S. I already started taking down Christmas stuff. I can't bear to take the tree down yet. It's so me and so very pretty bird.

not sure why my glasses look tined with blue.  huh

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Quick Cake Mix Cookies

While browsing through a lovely Christmas open house in Crossplains, TN two weekends ago, I stumbled upon the refreshments.  Being the lemon lover that I am, I immediately snatched a yellow cookie with powdered sugar on it.  To my delight it was lemon and wonderful!  So soft, so light... I could have eaten the whole plate.  But then I may not have been invited back to next year's open house :)

I thought about these cookies for more than a week.  Finally I looked up in every book I have and came up empty.  Then decided to internet search pictures of lemon cookies and at last came up with a recipe.  I have to share!  These are so very easy to make and take under an hour from start to finish. 

Cake Mix Cookies
1 cake mix, any flavor, I recommend lemon
1 tub cool whip 8 ounce
1 egg
powdered sugar - about 1/3 cup

Mix cake mix, egg and cool whip with a blender.  The batter will be sticky.  Drop one spoonful at a time into powdered sugar and drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool and try like heck not to eat them all.  Unless they are only for you... then go ahead.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Salt dough Ornaments

Sometimes, simple is key.  When it came down to thinking of decorations for my four foot Christmas tree in the kitchen I wanted something simple, bake-y and kitchen-y.  So I chose a recipe that I found in a library book and I am sorry but I don't remember which one it was.  I rented it last summer and jotted down the recipe just not which book it came from.  My apologies.

Never-the-less, here's what I did last Sunday for my little kitchen tree.

Salt Dough Ornaments
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Whisk flour and salt together.  Add water and stir until well blended.  Turn out on to a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 8-10 minutes.  Do not let the dough become rubbery.  Roll out dough with rolling pin and cut ornaments using cookie cutters or whatever you wish.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet or on parchment paper.  They can be placed 1/2 inch apart as they don't really expand much.  Poke a hole for hanging with a straw.  Bake for 2 hours.

Please tilt your head to the left to get the full affect.
P.S. this recipe made about 24 ornaments
I know 2 hours sounds like a loooong time but seriously... go do something else!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Coffee Table Style

The lovely coffee table.  The center piece of most living rooms and dens.  What to do with it?  Here's what we did with mine.

To go along with the burlap I used for a make-shift tree skirt, I dug out this old coffee bean bag.  It was in terrible need of ironing and smelled quite odd when I put the heat to it. 
We chose one of my enamel pitchers and stuck some cedar tree clippings inside from a tree along the driveway.  It may have helped keep the trimmings fresh if I added a bit of water to the pitcher... but there's a hole in the bottom.  Not good for water.
The marble game is always on the coffee table.  It was my Grandmother's and the old jelly jar came from Uncle Randy.  The red and white striped marble was a gift from my new best friend that owns Phillips General Store.  He doesn't really know he is my new best friend but he is.  I had visions of cleaning up the Halloween decorations that are still in his yard.  Poor Cobbler.  No time for himself.  What a darling fellow.

Anyone who has been to my home knows good and well that I have been gladly suffering from an enamelware addiction for years.  I knew my vintage glass ornaments (the smelly ones) would look perfect in a medium sized enamel bowl.  I thought I needed a stand for the bowl and it just so happens that I found out the fruit bowl stand from Longaberger nestles the heck out of my prized enamel bowl.  It worked out quite well.
And to add a not so good picture, here is the metal star I have had forever with a coffee scented candle that I bought in Bellbuckle a while back.  My sweet sister added the fresh but previously frozen cranberries that I think made a nice touch and completion to my Christmas Coffee Table look.  Don't you think?  And don't worry, kids are only likely to eat one cranberry before they probably won't touch them again and will cringe when the see the canned, jellied stuff at Thanksgiving.  Or they may love them?!
It really took no time to put together a spread that we will enjoy the entire month of December.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Mail is Fun

Remember my Mistletoe Hunt gifts I sent to far away family?  Sending Kisses?  Scroll down to see that post.  Well I received a package of my own in Tuesday's mail.  How exciting to come in from a long day at work and 45 minutes worth of driving home traffic to see a tiny box on top of the mail on the table with my name on it!  I knew I hadn't ordered anything online, at least nothing that was being shipped to this address.  I play Secret Santa and have everything shipped to my sister's house.  Sneaky :)

I quickly opened the box to find a card from a mistletoe recipient.  I dug further to find a fantastic full apron with little ladies hanging laundry on the clothesline on the front of it!  How perfect for me!  This morning I wore it making breakfast and thought I'd snap a pic or two to share. 

Thank you Aunt Dea for thinking of me!  I love you and Merry Christmas!

I reckon I had already cleaned up breakfast.

I sometimes wish I was as willing to have  my picture made, or good enough to take decent picture of myself without cutting my head off, like some of the blogs that I follow.  Sometimes I would like to take pics of outfits from the thrift store that I put together.  This morning I just so happen to have the camera out and a thrift store bargain outfit on.  So... here's possibly the one and only outfit that I will share.  Or maybe the first and you'll just have to put up with my photography errors and goofy faces.

Sweater: ThriftSmart $3.00
Wool Lined Skirt: Ladies of Charity thrift sale $6.00
Leather Waist Belt: Ladies of Charity thrift sale $2.00
Copper Hawk Necklace: Hand me down from Aunt Charlie Ann
Boots and Knee Socks: actually these I purchased last Friday at Off Broadway shoes.  Boots $34.00 Socks $9 for three pair which scrunch at the top either over or under the knee (black, white, ivory) 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Inspiration

The two page spread in my 2011 journal labeled "These two pages are for Christmas Only" began on September 6th.  I have been excited about giving, crafting, music and Jesus' birthday for months.  It's no wonder that when it got here I found myself a little drained.  A lot drained.  Thanksgiving weekend passed without a single tree going up in my house.  I didn't even want to listen to holiday music. 

Luckily, I pre-planned for my mental block.  After going to the Webb School craft fair in October in Bellbuckle, and finding a huge awestruck love for Phillips General Store, I knew what I was going to need.  I planned a Friday off from work and my sister and I drove down in search of inspiration. 

Guess what..... we found it. 

 All white and silver mantle.
 Used it..... you'll see.
 Bowl of vintage Bwalls.  :)
 See the white one ... brought it home.
I love the old stuff on the upper walls... and the old stuff on the ... everywhere!
  Yes Girl... I know.  I couldn't believe it either.
 Totally inspired to cut up a Christmas bridgecloth... maybe.... yes..... maybe.

If you get a chance.. GO!  We were on a Christmas high for the rest of the weekend!

You'll find more pics of our Bellbuckle visit Christmas Style here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sending Kisses

And before we knew it a new tradition for us was born this year. 

Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, we gathered as planned at the farm of our friends' in Goodlettsville where I had spied bunches of mistletoe last winter when sledding.  Our farm does not have mistletoe anywhere.  I have searched and searched with no luck.  Matter of fact there's just not much up here on the hill.  Maybe it's the slight change of altitude.  But downhill there's mistletoe a plenty as you can see from our final kill shot of five full plastic grocery bags full (and we could have gotten more!)

Five of us anxiously headed out into the woods, shotguns and bags in hand, on four wheelers.  We shot and caught and gathered for a couple of hours.  Such fun... every bit I thought it would be.  We wound up with tons!  We hung some here and there and still had a lot left.  My thoughts got a little farther away wondering if mistletoe grew in Texas and in Florida where I have family.  Then I thought "hey!... Kisses from Tennessee!"  I tied ribbons on springs and tucked them into small jewelry sized boxes.  I went to my favorite vintage graphics site, The Graphics Fairy, and snagged a nice vintage deer with antlers pic in red (because my silly printer refuses to print in black and will soon be replaced with a printer that will.)  I printed the tiny cards on white card stock, cut them and folded them.  I placed a loving message to three far away family members, tucked the small boxes into mailing envelopes and sent them on their merry way on my lunch break on Monday.

I don't know what about using our mail system to mail something special gives me the fuzzies but it does.  To think that one day mistletoe was hanging at the tip tops of trees and a few days later it is hopefully adorning the doorway thirteen hours away by car.  Fuzzy.