Friday, July 31, 2015

One more pretty Christmas card


I just had to close out July by sharing one more pretty Christmas card from my collection.  I'm not sure just how "vintage" it technically is; I believe it's from the 1980s or possibly late 1970s.  The front of the card is all that I have, so there's nothing on the back to go by.

But I love this holly-trimmed lamp post with the flickering red candle inside.  And even more, I love the little snowy village scene in the right background of the picture.  So sweet!

And this wraps up Christmas in July here in my Christmas kitchen.  Hope you've enjoyed the daily posts!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Christmas teacup poem


This lovely teacup image is from The Graphics Fairy -- a fabulous resource!
In 2005 our dear friends sent us a pretty Christmas card with a detachable bookmark.  The bookmark featured a lovely poem I would like to share with you today.  I have tried to find the author but cannot.  Just know it is not original with me, please.  The artwork on the Christmas card was by Sandy Lynam Clough, so it's very possible the poem is her work as well.  Here it is:

The Christmas Teacup

The pretty little 
teacup was once 
just a lump of clay,
until God's loving fingers
gently molded it one day.

Stronger and more
beautiful the teacup
soon became,
as its true purpose
was defined, no
lifeless clay remained.

So, let's sit down
and share a special
cup of Christmas tea,
and thank the Lord
for all He does to
fashion you and me
into the folks He
had in mind long
before our birth ...
the loved ones Jesus
came to save when He 
came here to earth.

I have saved the bookmark all these years.  Now it is time to share the poem with others!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Eggnog Coffee Cake -- a great idea for Christmas breakfast


Photo from Crumbs and Chaos
This coffee cake sounds like a  fantastic idea for Christmas breakfast.  Here's the link: Eggnog Coffee Cake.  It's from Becca at Crumbs and Chaos.

This delicious-looking coffee cake contains real eggnog in the cake and in the glaze.  I personally think a good coffee cake is a wonderful addition to any special breakfast, but this one would be perfect for Christmas.  I had pinned it to my original Christmas board on Pinterest long before I had such a thing as a Christmas Breakfast board.  So now I have pinned this Eggnog Coffee Cake to that board, too.  That way I can't lose track of it!  If I find myself with time to bake on a cool summer morning (assuming we have some), I will be trying this recipe out ahead of time!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Another pretty card


This card isn't exactly vintage, but I think it is so pretty.  The artist may be Chuck Sumerlin, but I'm not sure.  It resembles other cards I have seen by him, where most of the scene is in black and white, and the buildings are exquisitely drawn.  Detailed, too.

And then the horses and sled, the man and little boy and the Christmas tree are all in color, but colors with a muted vintage feel to them.  This just evokes childhood memories for me.  I hope you all enjoy seeing this lovely card, too!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Freezer Cooking for the Holidays -- a fantastic post from Money Saving Mom®

Photo from Taste of Home
 Are you like me -- resolving every year that this year you will be more organized with your Christmas preparations?  This post: Freezer Cooking for the Holidays from Crystal at Money Saving Mom will definitely move all of us toward that goal, particularly when it comes to kitchen gifts,  or treats to have on hand for guests or unexpected company.

For years I have stored baked Christmas cookies in tins in the freezer, or on a cold back porch,  for Christmas gift-giving.  Sometimes I have even baked tea breads or  fruitcakes and frozen them.  But Crystal has many more ideas, and her suggestions are great.  Check them out!

Another thing I've done is to make and freeze a few pans of uncooked lasagna to bake as needed.  Great for when you have a busy day or a houseful of company.  You could do this with any other freezable main dish, too.

Why not look through your Christmas notebook to see how you could implement freezer cooking into your Christmas planning this year?  You'll be glad you did!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Helpful tips for a handmade holiday


Over the years I've saved many ideas in a folder labeled "Christmas crafting" in my Yahoo inbox.  This one, a blog post from Twelve Crafts Till Christmas concerning Handmade Holiday Tips, is very, very helpful as we begin to plan (or continue to plan) our handcrafted gifts.

I'll let you follow the link and check it out for yourself -- and if I were you I would print out the post and put it somewhere safe, like my Christmas notebook.  I think this is something I probably need to re-read as I plan my handcrafted gifts each year.  There are eight incredibly helpful tips, including the need to be realistic about your level of crafting skill in various areas.

(And I would add to that the need to be realistic about how long a particular project is going to take you.  Invariably I underestimate how long something is going to take.)

Another important thought is to consider your recipient.  Yes, you love to craft gifts and most people love receiving something handmade.  But others do not, so know your recipient.  And then there is the matter of allergies and sensitivities when thinking about food gifts or anything scented.  It used to be that homemade cookies or a loaf of bread were always a safe bet.  Not so much anymore, with so many people avoiding wheat and gluten.  So you can see that this tip is a very valuable one.

I'll be printing this out and putting it in my Christmas notebook.  How about you?


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Happy Rudolph Day!


A glittery handmade house made by my friend Les
Happy Rudolph Day to all!  Some of my friends at the Our Home for the Holidays craft forum took part in a Christmas in July gift exchange and I know they will be opening their gifts today.  Such a crafty, thoughtful bunch of ladies -- the gifts will be fantastic and fun, I know. The house at the top of the post was included in the gift package I received one year when I was able to take part in the swap.  My friend Les excels in making these putz houses and I was so excited to receive one!

One site I visited for Rudolph Day ideas suggested that during July, one should plan to have all of the stocking stuffers purchased.  I think that's not a bad idea!  For quite a few of our empty-nest years, my hubby and I filled stockings for one another.  In recent years we've decided to forgo even the stocking stuffers and save all of our gift money to spend on getaways during the year.  It's actually much more meaningful and fun for us than buying gifts would be!

Another idea I found was that if you are making your own Christmas cards, July is a good time to get that done. 

And yet another thought is to check your list and make sure at least half of your gifts are purchased or made.  Good ideas!

Hope your Rudolph Day is a special one!