December 31, 2010


I wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful new year. May you have many laughs, cool adventures, good food, and great times with the people that you love. May your goals and pursuits happen and all your dreams come true. Hoping you have constant creativity to make daring new innovative things! 
Happy New Year!!

December 24, 2010


Vrolijk Kerstfeest!
Feliz Navidad!
Joyeux Noel!  
Natale Allegro!
God Jul!
Christmas Alegre!
Maligayang Paskil!
Boas Festas!
Glaedelig Jul!
Hauskaa Joulua!
Frohe Weihnachten!
Nallaig Chridheil Huibh!  
Merry Keshmish!  
Merry Christmas to you all! Hope your day is filled with much love, surprises, fun, games, food, cheer, movies, sports, giving, and happiness with the ones you love!
"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."--W.T. Ellis

December 21, 2010

winter solstice

The winter solstice occurs exactly when the Earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23°, 26'. It lasts for only an instant but it represents midwinter or the first day of winter. More evident to those in high latitudes, this occurs on the shortest day or the longest night.
"Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius."--Pietro Aretino

December 19, 2010

holiday trees

The modern Christmas tree as we know it dates back to 16th century Germany. The decorations used at that time were various colors of paper roses, apples, wafers and sugar. The tree was first introduced in England in 1841 by the German, Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. In the United States, the first trees came from German immigrants in Pennsylvania in 1821, although this is disputed by some.
Evergreens were a symbol of rebirth from ancient times. Various conifers such as spruce, balsam, firs, hemlock and pines were used as Christmas trees, the most popular type in North America being the Fraser fir.  
Here are some photos of various trees in the spirit of the season.
 our Christmas tree
funky department store trees
glass tree ornament 
desert tree, photo by David Plemmons

And lastly here are a few pics of some local trees in my area.

December 18, 2010

holiday cards

The Christmas card  is a Victorian creation, which began as a kind of stationery. The first card produced by Sir Cole who worked for  British Postal Service, and an artist he hired named John Horsley. It was a depiction of a Christmas scene. He wrote "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You."
I received this and thought it was great:
We have a list of folks we know all written in a book, 
And every year at Christmas time we go and take a look, 
And that is when we realise, that those names are a part, 
Not the book they’re written in, but of our very hearts. 
For each named stands for someone, whose path touched ours and then, 
Left such a print of Friendship that we want to touch again. 
So never think our Christmas cards are just a  mere routine, 
Of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between. 
And every year when Christmas comes, we realise anew, 
The greatest gift of life can give, is knowing friends like you. 
And may the spirit of Christmas, that forever and ever endless, 
Leave it’s richest blessing, in the hearts of you and yours. 
--Roy Russell

December 17, 2010

another cookie recipe!

Biscotti are a twice baked cookies originating in Prato, Italy. Originally considered cakes, they were large almond biscuits, made dry and crunchy through cutting the loaf of dough while still hot from the oven, then baking again. Such cookies had a long shelf life, this food was particularly useful during journeys and wars, and twice baked breads were a staple food of the Roman Legions. So, needless to say these travel well and make great gifts during the holidays.They are easy to make and are wonderful for dunking in coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
Here is a yummy biscotti recipe:


½ c butter
½ c sugar
½ c brown sugar
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 Tbsp grated ginger root
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
2 eggs
3 Tbsp molasses
2 ½ c flour
2 tsp baking powder
-mix and make into one loaf
-top with raw sugar
-bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes
-remove dough
-let cool 10 minutes
-cut into ½ inch  slices & place back on sheet
-reduce oven temp to 325 degrees
-bake 10 minute, flip over, bake 10 more minutes

December 12, 2010


 ¼ c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp molasses
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp powdered ginger
-form into balls
-roll in sugar
-on greased cookie sheet
- 300 degrees for 15 minutes

December 9, 2010

holiday ornament

Each year I like to buy one or two ornaments, to keep the collection going. I also like to make at least one with the year written on it, again, to keep the collection going. Here is a festive ornament I made for this season. I used a wood blank from the craft store, acrylic paint for the background, some clip art, stickers and a marker for the words. I then coated the whole this with wonderful glitter modge podge. This project can be made in an hour.
 the blank from the craft store
finished project!
other ornament ideas:
glass ornaments
paper mache ornaments


December 6, 2010

box purse

I think this makes a cool vessel for a gift. Bought the box with the handle already attached. Then I painted the base, just to give it a background. The rest is vintage images from various things like clip art, stickers, and photos. The top is coated with paper glaze, which gives a glass look and a hard finish.
Here are some pictures of the progression of the purse:
 Here's the purse I bought from the store.
 A layer of paint to make it dark.
 The back.
The front. 

December 5, 2010

cookie exchange

Get together during the holiday season and have a cookie exchange. This is trading cookies (or other goodies, as my little group of friends do) with other friends, family, co-workers, whoever, so you end up with a variety of cookies and you only have to bake one.

Some rules to go by. Plan ahead. Invite all that you are interested in and have an RSVP date, that way you know how many cookies to make. After you know how many are attending, let every one know how many to bring.

Bring the allotted amount in individual baggies or vessel of choice (you can get creative here), along with a copy of the recipe for each person. The host should decide if you bring 3 or 6 or 12 cookies for each person, it depends really on how many are attending.
This is always fun as a potluck with real food and cocktails, or at a holiday party.
 ***I will post some cookie recipes on my blog in the next couple weeks that I think are good cookies to try for an exchange. 

 6 T melted unsweetened chocolate
1 c butter
2/3 c sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder
2 ¼ c flour
 -mix together in order
-chill, pack into press with design plate
on ungreased pan
-375 degrees 10 minutes

December 2, 2010

mini recycled christmas tree

I got this cardboard triangle from my mother, who is an avid sewer, knitter, crocheter, and all around maker of crafty things. So, I decided to make a Christmas tree, out of various things. I used acrylic paint for the base. The embellishments are ribbon, buttons, coins, stickers, confetti, etc. Here are the pictures of the progression to the final product.
 This is the original cone.
 I used brown paint instead of green for the tree because that would be too traditional.
 This is the back of the tree.
This is the front of the tree.