Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Day Twenty Four - Christmas Eve

The last stitch has been taken, the last cookie baked, and the last gift wrapped which is a very good thing considering time is now up! We are officially on our way to grandmother's house, although in not quite so picturesque fashion as this.
Merry Wishes to You All!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Day Twenty Three - Baking Cookies

Funny how the "making" and "taking" of the cookies seemed to occur simultaneously...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Day Twenty Two - Wrapping

With only two days left till Christmas it's time to start wrapping things up....literally!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Day Twenty One - Secrets

What a difference a day makes!
My "Grinch" took off in the wee morning hours, I'm guessing he was headed back to the mall where he could await some other poor unsuspecting victim. I on the other hand headed up to the nook and stitched away to my heart's content. Here's a teeny peek at some of the handiwork. Wish I could show more as I'm just in love with this project. I'll give you a proper look see after Christmas but until then it has to remain, like most everything else around here, top secret! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Day Twenty - Peace

 I'm sure most will agree...these last few days before Christmas are anything but peaceful. I could feel my inner Grinch itching to take over as I toted teen #2 back up to the mall for the fourth time this week. I was  tired of shopping and all that comes with it...the crowds, the lack of parking spaces, and the constant request for my e-mail address every time we purchased something.
Returning home provided little relief either...dishes in the sink, presents to be wrapped, and now child #3 needed a Yankee swap gift for tomorrow. There was no escape except perhaps...
 ...in the pages of a book. I went directly for Gladys Taber because where better to find some peace than by visiting her Stillmeadow country home. I headed right to December.
 I read about the smell of her Christmas tree, the pleasure of hosting a small buffet with friends, and then, her musings on the fact that the holiday had become "too commercial" and that it had lost the simplicity of earlier years.
Considering she wrote this in 1953 I'm beginning to wonder when, if ever, the celebration of  Christmas was simple? Perchance it never was...at least where
the females of our species are concerned!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Day Nineteen - Counting Down

Seems as if the advent doors are flying open!
Can you believe it's only 5 more days till Christmas?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day Eighteen - Party Favors

 It's almost time for my doll club to meet again and this month we're having a Christmas party complete with luncheon fun, good friends, hot coffee, dessert sweetness, holiday dolls, a gift swap, and party favors! Could be up to twenty in attendance this year so that means each of us might have a windfall of twenty surprises at our place setting....yippee!!!
On the other hand that also means I need to get busy!

 Now making up twenty favor goodies could be a bit stressful in the midst of the all the other holiday preparations going on but I had a secret weapon by the name of Susan Branch. She posted this great tutorial last year for a holiday banner which I thought was just the cutest.
Oh...and ever so easy too!!!
I added some red backing and a wee jingle bell but other than that
stuck to her delightful "you can do it" directions.
You should try one too! 
All that's left now is to tuck them in some nifty gifty envelopes and I'm good to go...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Day Seventeen - Christmas Greetings

 Another six or so inches of snow fell this afternoon. That along with Sunday's score gives us about 14" outside our door. But since we're kind of fans of snow in our house the kiddos and I spent
the afternoon stringing up even more snowflake garlands.
 Child #3 then found a nifty selection on Netflix that plays a crackling fire on your tv screen and we just had to try it out. It went perfect with our fake snowflakes.....
 .....and created a very cozy atmosphere to snuggle into and write out those Christmas cards.
It truly is beginning to feel as if the Christmas season is upon us!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Day Sixteen - Being Good

My first gift of the year...
seems this being good business has its perks!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Day Fifteen - Hot Cocoa

 It was a day of cozy.
Cocoa, cream, and candy canes...
 ...with a bit of coaster crochet on the side!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Day Fourteen - Waiting

 When your little it seems as if you have to wait forever for Christmas Day to arrive.
Not so much when your a grown up.
And yet today, I had my fair share of it.
Instead of watching the skies for Santa's sleigh however, I was obsessively checking out the windows for snowflakes. We had been promised twelve inches of snow but it seemed to take forever and a day before the first few pitiful spits of it started coming down. Even then it was very slow going and my patience was wearing thin and what with all my running back and forth to the window I thought I might be at risk of wearing thin myself. It seemed nourishment was in order and so I set out to do some baking of the non-holiday variety and whip up a Lazy Daisy Cake.
Now one of the best things about a Lazy Daisy Cake (a.k.a Lightning Cake) is that it is 
extremely quick (like lightning!) to make up. 
This is a very good thing when you are running low on patience.
Best thing #2 about Lazy Daisy Cake is that it has the most amazingly easy and delicious topping in the world. Nothing more than butter, cream, and brown sugar...YUM!
 And best thing #3 about making up a Lazy Daisy Cake is that it gives me the opportunity to spend time with my favorite cookbook of all time,  The Fanny Farmer Cookbook.
Not just any Fanny Farmer Cookbook mind you, it has to be the eleventh edition, have a gold cover, and, if your lucky, messages from the past!
My copy used to belong to a woman named Olive (love that name!) who had a friend named Polly (ditto!) I know this because of an envelope I found tucked in the pages containing a brief correspondence between the two and a shared recipe. Oh, and according to the note they also shared some opera glasses...  
 Olive appears to have been quite organized as documented in her menu plans.
 She loved to edit recipes and.... 
 ...leave little notes here and there!
 And her very own personalized index, what a great idea!
In the 25 minutes it took the cake to bake off I had just enough time for a quick visit with Olive. Combine that with a wipe down of the dishes and by the time I looked out the
window again the snow was flying!
Should you be interested in some non-holiday baking of your own....
Lightning Cake (Hot Milk Cake)
Small, delicious and easy. Excellent
either frosted or with a special topping
as in the recipe for Lazy Daisy Cake.
Set the oven at 375. Butter a square pan
8 by 8 by 2 inches.(Except I use a round cake pan!) 
Beat until thick
-2 eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat in a little at a time
-1 cup sugar
Sift together and stir in
-1 cup flour (For gluten free try Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Flour)
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat until butter melts
-1/2 cup milk
-1 tablespoon butter
Stir into the first mixture and beat 1
minute or until smooth. Pour into the
Bake about 25 minutes.
Lazy Daisy Cake. Leave the baked cake
in the pan. Mix 3 tablespoons melted butter,
3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons
cream and 1/2 cup chopped nuts or coconut.
(No nuts or coconut for us!) 
Spread over the cake. Put under the broiler and
cook until the topping is lightly browned.
Watch carefully and turn so the topping browns evenly.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Day Thirteen - Housework

Yes, housework was the Christmas focus of today.
It was, however,  housework of the most delightful kind.
Perhaps it was those gingerbread stamps I came home with yesterday or maybe it was just my way of avoiding the life sized vacuum and feather duster that actually did need to be put to use, but either way inspiration had struck and it was time to decorate the Christmas dollhouse.
 Hands smaller than mine volunteered to help set all in place. There is often great debate as to where all the goodies should be displayed and the whole process often exhausts them. Nothing a good night's sleep won't remedy which is a good thing considering......
......the foot of snow we are expected to receive tomorrow will have those very same "smaller than mine" hands hard at work making up their very first batch of snowballs for the year!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day Twelve - Special Delivery

 I do believe it was a miracle of Christmas...mid-morning at the post office and no line!
Not only was I able to waltz up to the counter and give the wee birdie a proper send off but I also acquired some of....
I had so wanted some of the sweet holiday versions of the Priority mail boxes but every time I went they were out of stock. Not sure what I'll use them for yet but they sure are cute and have such
 a happy vintage air about them.
I also got the gingerbread house stamps I had my eye one. Just like little dollhouses they are! I'm so excited to put them to use that I think it might be the inspiration I need to actually get those cards written and posted out this year. We shall see...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Day Eleven - Wrap it Up

It's official.
I've wrapped my first gift of the season!

The little bird was completed earlier today in an alternate color combo but filled with a smidge of the same bouquet of Pickity Place lavender.

All that's left now is to send it on it's way to Fairie Moon which means tomorrow I'll be headed to the what is probably the second busiest place in the world this time of year...
the post office!!!
(Number One of course being Santa's Workshop.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day Ten - Garlands

 Today the giveaway tags found a second purpose and...
yesterday's snowfall was put to good use!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Day Nine - Snowflakes

It snowed today, but not just outside!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Day Eight - Visions of Sugar Plums

 Today I was cold, tired, and in no mood to step foot out of doors.
And so I didn't.
I had for myself instead quite the frumpy time of it, lazing on the couch, drowning myself in tea, and browsing cookbooks for visions of sweets and savories I might serve up for the holidays. I was most delighted with that little gem of a book up there on the left titled,
A World of Good Eating.
 I love that it is noted to be "tested in the kitchen of a New England Housewife."
She obviously was much more industrious than me.
 And how cute is that copyright!
 I did accomplish some menu making however and was especially excited to find the section on Poland full of potential dishes for my Dad's birthday dinner which happens to coincide with
New Years Eve.
Paprika Chicken should do the trick along with some Golabski (stuffed cabbage), cucumber salad, pierogi, and perhaps a poppy seed roll for dessert. Yum!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Day Six - St. Nicholas Day

 Dinner was delicious and the Dundee divine,
Now it's time to announce the winner, a sweet friend of mine,
Congratulations Fairy Moon!!!
(Let's get in touch tomorrow on the lavender and such!)
Until then, sweet dreams to all and many thanks for playing along in the fun.
Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Day Five - In the Workshop

 Today I hung up my "Christmas Workshop" sign and set to work adding some
holiday sparkle to the crafting nook.
 The doors have since been closed up tight for the night but I'll give you a quick peak
at some of today's progress. 
 My flock was cut in a variety of prints and colors...
 ...including of course the flower and gingham one promised for tomorrow's giveaway! Don't forget to leave your comment to be entered into the drawing...you can click HERE for all the gifty details. Once you do I'll make up a little tag with your name on it and keep my fingers crossed that you are the lucky winner!!!