Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Birch Christmas Centerpiece

When hubby was moose-hunting in the North Pond area in central this fall, he brought back some nice clean birch.  We like to have a good supply on hand for the fireplace at Christmastime, rather than just burning the fire-logs.  I also had asked him to make me some birch tea light holders, for Christmas centerpieces.

Here's the birch sticks on the garage floor.........
Hubby dried the birch for a couple of weeks in the garage, then cut the sticks to the lengths I needed for the centerpieces.  Then, he used a forstner bit to drill out just the perfect sized cavity, for a tealight.

In the meantime, I had been collecting different types of cones over the fall.  I use them as filler on the centerpieces.  I gathered some huge pine-cones on one of my walks. 
To make a centerpiece, I arrange three pieces of birch, of different heights on a charger. 
Add cones around the birch, 
a few cinnamon sticks with some red berries (if desired), and 

A nice little centerpiece to enjoy over Christmas.
This one is for the "Silent Auction"  fundraiser at work!


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Cookie Exchange

You know that Christmas is right around the corner when you start hearing about cookie exchanges........and I love it!!  Not only is it a great opportunity to make and trade some delicious cookies, but for me, the social aspect of it is awesome. 

I went to a cookie exchange last evening, and it was so nice to see everyone, some I hadn't seen in months.  It was the perfect opportunity to just sit and chat, and enjoy your choice of some nice teas, coffee or hot chocolate, and just catch up.  

Our hostess had pulled out some of her Christmas things, just for the occasion.  There was some great Christmas music playing, and as we all sat around chatting and laughing, I think I got nipped by the Christmas Spirit!!! 

There were seven of us in the group, so we each made seven dozen cookies.  You keep one dozen of your own and bring the other six dozen to "exchange".  That way, we each came home with six dozen cookies (one dozen from each other person at the exchange).  The hostess keeps track of who is baking what, so two or three participants don't bake the same type of cookie.  

My contribution was a new recipe to me........Cuban Cups.  My good friend, Kathy shared it with me a couple of weeks ago.  These cookies are simple to make, yields a load, and are quite nice for a festive cookie platter.  Here's the recipe.......

Cuban Cups
(makes 80 pieces)

2 cups peanut butter chips
2 cups butterscotch chips
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups crushed plain-rippled potato chips
1 1/2 cups chopped peanuts

Melt first three ingredients in top of a double boiler.
Stir in potato chips and peanuts.
Spoon into mini cupcake liners, and let set.

Take a look at how mine turned out....... 

 Here's all of the cookies at the exchange..... 

It was an awesome evening...
fun and laughter....
and lots of cookies 
to share
with friends and family


Monday, 9 November 2015

Remembrance Day--November 11

Flanders Poppy on the First World War battlefields. 

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 +   +   +   +   +   +  +   +

I hope you all take time to
on this
Remembrance Day

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

From old closet doors to a beautiful hand-crafted headboard......

I've been tormenting hubby to make me a headboard for years.  He finally gave in....
and boy am I happy he did.  
He re-purposed some old wooden closet doors......
 four by four posts with  a wooden decorative piece at the top......
 and built the headboard to attach to a Queen-size bed-frame.
  Even at that point, I was pretty pleased.
 but, when he started to rub dark walnut stain on it......
 it was transformed.
 I love it, and I think we have a beautiful piece to pass down through 
the future generations of our family. 


Sunday, 1 November 2015

It's Caramel Apple Time!!

I think my favorite Halloween treat, to make, is caramel apples. They are so easy to make and everyone just seems to love them.  The tart and juicy apple combined with thick, chewy, sweet caramel is just divine.

For six large caramel apples, you will need one bag of caramel candy.  
I always use Kraft caramels.....
 You simply melt caramels in the microwave, 
  insert craft sticks into washed apples
dip apples in the caramel  
 and then roll in crushed peanuts.

Set them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool, and enjoy.