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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Open House 2010

It's time for another Christmas Open House. We've added a few little treasures. Let's start outside. We love how our wreath looks on our new, red door.
Next, let's walk though the entryway. We had too many ornaments for our tree that we had to place them on garland and houseplants throughout the house.
You might be able to tell from my Halloween Open House that we are big Charlie Brown fans here at the Grow house. Introducing our newest "nativity."
Let's make a quick stop in the kitchen. Up until now I hadn't made a bunting for the kitchen window so this is what we have (until tomorrow.)
Of course all of the kitchen cabinets are festive. This is Santa standing in front of our glassware. He is our favorite Santa because he is was my Gramma's. He's actually a piggy bank.
While we are in the kitchen, check out the great gingerbread house my niece created.
Speaking of gingerbread, this is the new bunting that I created to go over the kitchen window. I designed it myself. There are three boys and three girls.
Now, let's have a little look at the snow village.
Finally, our tree. 
Have a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Owl Bags - They're a Hoot!

The puns just keep coming to me. I made some fun owl bags for my little sisters this Christmas. I followed the clever pattern from Everyday Celebrations. The best part is that I used felt, vintage pink corduroy, fabric scraps and vintage sheets all from my stash. I only had to buy the fusible web.

Some additional views:

I hope that my 12 and 14 year-old sisters enjoy them. My niece keeps asking me if I will make one for her.

Check out this and other patterns at the Everyday Celebrating store. I'm not an expert seamstress but she gently walked me through new-to-me techniques like using fusible web and making straps.


I have some more owl surprises to share later this week on the blog. I have no idea why this week became owl week. Hoo knew. Ha!

I have lots more projects and tutorials made from vintage sheets on my other blog, The Vintage Sheet Blog. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bûche de Noël - Yule love it!

I love the French tradition of making a cream-filled pastry that resembles the Yule log for Christmas dessert. It usually involves baking cake layers, spreading the layers with frosting, rolling it up, and decorating.
This is a really easy, no-bake version of the Bûche de Noël which is my variation on one of our favorite family desserts-Black and White Dessert.

.:~ Bûche de Noël ~:.

"Yule" need:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted (regular unsweetened or sweetened if you want your dessert a little sweeter)
  • 1 package Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (look on the shelf near the ice cream toppings)
    Whip the cream with an electric beater.
    Beat or fold in the cocoa powder and vanilla.
    Now, start building your log by spreading a little of your chocolate cream mixture onto your platter in a line. Also, you might want to put a little parchment or wax paper on the sides of your platter to make clean up easier.
    Apply a spoonful of chocolate mixture onto each cookie and stand on its side, sandwiched beside its neighbors.
     Repeat until you are out of cookies.
    Angle your log for a realistic affect.
    Cover your log with the remaining chocolate cream mixture. Let it chill in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
    Remove parchment paper from sides. Decorate with fake branches, berries, and greenery. Sprinkle with powdered sugar "snow."

    Slice log on the diagonal to create stripes.
    Optional-Serve with:
    • Chocolate sauce
    • Whipped cream
    • Powdered sugar
    Try it, "Yule" love it!
    Merry Christmas.

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Origami Candy Cane

    Okay, enough fattening treats for a while. Thanks for visiting another day of We Grow By Our Dreams' Red and White Week. Today, I'll teach you a really easy (and addicting) craft. I make these with the kids at work and they love it.

    Origami Candy Cane
    You'll need:
    • 1 piece of 8 1/2" x 11" white paper (like copy paper)
    • A red marker
    • A piece of tape (preferably double stick but whatever)
    Color one short side and one long side of the paper red (about 1/4").
    Now, flip over your paper. And start to roll up the corner that does not have the red lines.
    Roll towards the corner where the red lines meet.
    When you are done rolling, tape down the corner (under my thumb).
    Then, take either end of your tube and roll around your finger 3-4 times.
    Take it off your finger. Straighten it until it looks like a candy cane.  This would be great on a tree or on top of a gift.
    Thanks for stopping by today. :) Leave a comment so I know you came by.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Candy Cane Cookies and White Hot Chocolate

    Welcome to the 4th post in We Grow By Our Dreams' Red and White Week. Today, I bring you two treats and a couple of fun red and white thrifted finds.
    Candy Cane Puffs
    I adapted the recipe from the Gooseberry Patch cookbook entitled, "Jolly Holidays."  

    You will need:
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon of vanilla (and peppermint extract if you have it)
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    8 oz. white chocolate
    1/2 cups crushed candy canes


    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar; beat in egg and extract(s.) Mix in flour and salt using low speed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. 
    Shape dough into walnut-size balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool.

    Melt white chocolate ; dip cookies into melted chocolate. Roll in crushed candy canes; set on wax or parchment paper to harden.


    White Hot Chocolate
    This is a great Better Homes and Garden recipe.
    You'll need:
    3 cups half-and-half
    3/4 cup white chocolate chips
    1 stick of cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    optional-whipping cream

    Combine 1/4 cup of the half-and-half, white chocolate, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan; whisk over low heat until white chocolate is melted. Remove cinnamon stick.

    Add remaining half-and-half. Whisk until heated through. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla and almond extract. Serve warm in mugs and top with whipping cream if desired.
    I bought the cute red and white plate and mug at my favorite thrift store-The Assistance League Thrift Store in Huntington Beach. You might actually see me if you go. I volunteer there a couple times a month. All proceeds go to local philanthropic projects.

    Thank you for visiting today. You may want to visit my other red and white posts from this week.

    Check out the Curtain to Cute Apron Transformation and three candy cane treats using only three ingredients and the Homemade Gift Guide.

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