Thursday, December 18, 2014

If You Have Time to Visit...

Remember the good old days of blogging, before Pinterest, when we would feature our blogging friends and what was going on in their world? Somehow I have gotten away from that, but today I will feature three four bloggers because you do not have enough to do these days. < insert wry, very wry, grin >

(Because I have learned, reading Pinterest features, that one never should provide links until the end, I'm trying that today.) 

First up, on Baking Day, a package arrived containing such treasures. I tell you, it was like Christmas morning.


Lovely vintage fabrics, vintage postcards, ornaments, a coaster, Before Amen by Max Lucado, and other items that must remain secret.


I'll take any opportunity to share the wee tree. My chickadee is wearing a knitted cap formerly used as an ornament. It fits him so well. All three of the new ornaments are on the tree, but they are well disguised. One is too well disguised.

Love these crocheted hearts with their buttons and long ties. I might be tempted to wear one as a necklace some day!

I've not made many gifts this year. Have you?






Since December arrived, we have not had much in the way of weather except rain, rain, and more rain. Sometimes it's freezing rain. However, back in November on Thanksgiving Eve we had a doozy of a snowstorm and have I ever got a story for you written by a dear blogger. Here I live in Maine and have for most of my life, but this blogging buddy comes to Maine for Thanksgiving and has a great adventure. I'm thinking a Christmas movie adventure!


I may have been watching a few Christmas movies because the next story definitely qualifies as Christmas movie material, from the Yukon no less. It warmed my heart and, dare I confess, made me cry. I love stories like this! I know that you will, too.

Now in case, you're wondering what the last photo has to do with anything...


Back in the olden days of blogging, we used to get our decorating inspiration from blogs. Yesterday, I visited a home tour and found this decorating inspiration, only her poinsettia was in a crock and mine's in a tin. Either way, the black plastic pot is camouflaged. (I like the beautiful foil that they come in, but understand that it is not good for the plant.)

So, without further ado, I present

1. Barbara's Adventure in Maine
2. Kim's Special Visitor
3. Cheryl's Beautiful Home Christmas Tour

and I say thank you, Dear Abby (not that Dear Abby), for the beautiful gifts!


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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cookie Baking Day

Sis and I had a cookie baking date. Yesterday was it! She arrived before ten with a vehicle filled to the rafters with baking supplies and I had tables filled to the rafters inside with baking supplies. It was quite the day. 

As is often the case with us, we didn't go for the tried and true. We both chose new-to-us recipes. Three to be exact. Fussy recipes that involved delicate dough and rolling out. One was the filled date cookie you see in its beginning stages below. It got a topper with a heart shape cut out. Then the edges were crimped. I have to tell you because I didn't take one photo of the finished product. They turned out quite cute and very tasty.


 ~Date Filled Cookies~

~Peanut Butter Cup Temptations~

These were not fussy. They were yummy. The recipe is right on the bag of peanut butter cups. 



~Kiffles~

This recipe is all over Pinterest. It's delicious, but I won't bother to make them again.

~Dora's Sugar Cookies~

This is a cookie that I've been baking since I was in third grade and ran home to tell my mother that Cathy's mother had made the most delicious cookie I had ever eaten. My mother called Cathy's mother who was gracious enough to share. I'm sharing, too.


Dora's Christmas Cookies

Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 cups brown sugar packed
1 cup melted butter
3½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Method:
Mix all ingredients together. Chill for thirty minutes or so. Roll thinly between two sheets of wax paper—no thicker than pie crust. Cut into shapes. Bake at 350° for ten minutes.
Frost with favorite icing as desired.

Edited to Add: Dora's Cookies taste better the following day.



We worked from morning until night. Dishes were done again and again. Still the kitchen looked as if a bomb had gone off.

~One little bright corner~

~Heading Out~

Sis was going straight to the hospital to drop off the goodies. She's dieting these days, yet she wanted to do her part for the cookie swap today on her floor. She just isn't participating in the swapping part. ☺

~J—O—Y~
We counted it all joy...or mostly all joy. Must say that I slept well last night and I'm hoping to hear that Sis did as well.
Hope that all is going smoothly in your corner.
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Friday, December 12, 2014

December Photo Challenge

This month's photo challenge is Christmas Scenes. I actually read all the articles that our hostess graciously provided and determined that I would try to copy one of the photos that I very much enjoyed. Wait. I'll go see if I can find it...

Ahhh, yes, here it is in in *this article* photo #2. I'll let you decide how close I came. ☺

So I started a few days ago when the weather was most uncooperative. The light just wasn't right during the day and nightime hours provided me with that light I love—all orange-y and warm—however, most people shudder to see it. 

I can show you...


This morning we woke to tracings of snow on branches and pale blue sky with some weak sun. I took my chance to re-photograph my subjects, which were two antique ornaments from my collection. (I don't actually have them on display this year and they will be returning to their storage soon.)


Here they are rather lost in the muddle middle. An antique Santa who looks more like an angry gnome and three acorns surrounded by oak leaves. It pleases me to think that these once hung on my great-grandparents' tree at the turn of the 20th Century.

What'sa matter, Santa? Have I been naughty again?


All photos were taken on automatic with a Coolpix P7100. I cropped, used frames (transparent and gradient 6 on Photoscape), auto corrected (low), auto contrasted (low),  and sharpened on level 5. I added the default back lighting and put that warm glow I love on with the lowest setting of "bloom." This is not a good idea for everyone because it does take the clarity back down again. Then I zipped over to PicMonkey and wrote this thank you for a lady who has done so much to teach me what little I know about photography. Though I don't shoot in RAW, I shoot in auto, which she once told me that her Beloved did a lot.

Thank you is not enough, but it's a start.  

As most of you know, Donna will not be with us for this challenge because she is caring for her Beloved. It is a credit to her that we have been allowed to carry on without her today. Donna has said that this is her last photo challenge. I understand that and hope to honor her commitment with this little post.

Thank you for looking. I am closing comments today.


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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Early Gifts of Christmas

This beautiful Christmas card arrived yesterday. My first to arrive in the mail. It  is so pretty and matches "the decor" around here. 




It arrived along with this sweet Johnson Brothers "Merry Christmas" mug. Apparently, dear Kim of Happy at Home was reading before Thanksgiving and saw the Friendly Village plates and thought of me when she saw this mug. As you can tell, it is a perfect complement for the Friendly Village tea cups in back. Kim, I just love it and, as soon as John figures out that I have switched mugs, I'll be having my morning coffee from it every day! Kim had a fun little tango with a vacuum cleaner yesterday and managed to take a photo all at the same time. Check it out!


The print was one that my daughter gave me several years ago that I had not figured out quite what to do with.  I love it here and it does remind me of my own two kiddos years ago and of my grandsons playing outside in the snow.


It looks even better with Kim's card.


We are not displaying outside lights this year...anything to economize...yet, I wish that we were because they are so cheering. I must write my neighbor a note thanking her for the light display at her home. 


This is a terrible shot of the moon the night before it was full, but the sky is the story. It just looked so pretty to me...sort of like one giant star—a light display of another sort.


Still decorating or redecorating. Thought that John's nightside table needed a little Christmas cheer. That little great he is holding in the photo there is already five years old!


Would you believe the the tree in a trunk had to be taken all apart so that I could remove the bad lights. It was driving me nuts. A wire cutter and an hour and a half later and I had managed to deliver it of its prelit status. It now is very sensibly dressed in new strings of lights.

Any mishaps at your place? Stay safe and keep singing...


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DB