Thursday, December 20, 2012

~ Snow in Southern California ~

I am a person for whom the adage "variety is the spice of life" was coined.

At Christmastime I find this to be true when I go to decorate and find myself needing to mix it up and make it different than the year before.  To me, that is just part of the joy.

However in my current home I think that my snowy scene on my "mantel" will always remain the same.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

~ She Sees Sea Shells this Season ~

I put a little bit of the coast on my Christmas table this year.

I love how their natural hues are offset by the white.
And some green.

And a sprig of red.

I also love my friend Marie, who showcased my Sea-sonal ways on her blog today.

Check her out at Nautical Cottage.

Thank you Marie ...
aka Sally Lee by the Sea
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

~ Ho Ho Ho ~

I am lucky enough to have a Bernina sewing machine that also does embroidery. I love my Bernina, but I cannot tell a lie ...

I use the embroidery options ... rarely. But, when I do ... I'm always tickled with the results.

It tickles me to put a little holiday cheer in some of the ... other ... nooks and crannies in my home.

Santa really likes to hang out here.

(The mall restrooms can be so gross sometimes.)
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

~ Sugar and Spice Cookies ~


I made a double batch of sugar cookies yesterday.  I didn't frost them because they were made for the express purpose of having small children frost them at a party.
Let's just say they were a big hit.  There may be a few children in southern California who may have stomach aches tonight after consuming large amounts of cookie + frosting.

  I still use my original copy of the recipe from a ward (church) cook book from ... 1978.  Keep in mind that this was before personal computers and graphics programs.  Those stickers you see in the above picture were considered a classy touch.
I miss the 70's.

  The amounts in this recipe are for the double batch.  I made the dough, covered my Kitchen Aid bowl and put it in the fridge overnight.  Then I rolled out small amounts at a time (on my [floured] SilPat), continually adding fresh cold dough from the cold bowl to the scraps as I rolled out again.  If you want chewier cookies roll them thicker, crisp cookies ... thinner.

1 Cup butter-flavored shortening (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla + 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt + 3 teaspoons baking powder
2 Cups sugar
4 1/2 Cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon milk
4 eggs, well beaten

Cream the shortening, vanilla/extract, salt and baking powder together.  Add sugar gradually.  Add beaten eggs.  Add the flour and spices, alternately with the milk.  Chill (see above), roll out on a floured surface and cut. Bake for 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

I should really wear an apron.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

~ Let it Snow ~

Years ago I came across some white ... dotted ... tulle with my name on it.
I purchased several yards, not knowing at the time exactly what I would use it for.
It only took until the next Christmas for me to figure out that my fabric was in reality ... snow.

I have cut it into pieces over the years and let it flurry into blankets all over my home.
This year my snow wraps around the bottom of my winter wonderland scene on my kitchen island.

A larger piece wraps around the bottom of my smaller tree in the family room.

Another piece lays the scene on my "mantel" to compliment the snow on the roof of my winter castle.

And a couple of years ago I snipped off a little piece to go around this small white tree, which sits on my dresser this year.

In all the time I've used this fabric, I have never lived in a snowy climate.  It matters not.

This magical snow never ... ever ... melts.
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Monday, December 3, 2012

~ The Lighter Side of Santa ~

I have amassed a fairly large collection of Santas.

This guy joined the family this year.

I put him in the living room with other ... paler ... Santas.

All those above were purchased at a TJMaxx / Marshalls kind of store.

This guy ... possibly my favorite ... was purchased at The Dollar Store.
For a dollar.

Many of my Santas didn't make the cut this year.  This year I approached my Christmas decor with a much lighter touch.  I have to say that I'm very happy with the results.
I'll be even happier when the time comes to put them all away.

How about you?

Do you put it all out every year or do your collections get to take turns?

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