Splendidly Homemade, Winter 2011

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Splendidly Homemade

easy gift ideas secrets of the perfect piecrust deck the halls for the holidays

Premier issue!


In this issue.... Meet our contributors ...................4 Top 10 holiday gifts ........................6 Splendid embellishments...............8 Upcycle: Sweater Stockings........12 Honey Vanilla Spoons...................16 Creating hostess gifts....................18 Pie Crust Perfection.......................22 Pumpkin Bars..................................28 Basket of Butters.............................30 Printable gift tags...........................33 Objects of Tradition.....................34 For the birds!..................................38 For the Joy of Junk........................40

A note from the editors........

We’re two friends,

Liz from Hoosier Homemade & Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage, that are passionate about making our homes a haven for our family & friends. Joining forces to work on our project, we’ve learned that friendship and family tie us together more and more every day. We are so excited to bring you the first edition of Splendidly Homemade. With the help of our contributors, we hope to share ideas that you will use and enjoy this holiday season. Inside this Winter issue you will find great gift ideas, yummy recipes, craft ideas and decorating tips to make your holiday one to remember.

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Amy Allen Clark

Foodie. Bookworm. Novice photographer. Java junkie. Knitter & hot glue gun toting extraordinaire. A lover of the simple and family-centered life. Happily living this contented existence within a penny-wise budget and showcasing it on MomAdvice.com.

Tiffany King loves to cook, but doesn’t have time to fix

elaborate meals each day. Instead, she’s learned lots of short cuts to making delicious meals. In October 2008, she started writing the blog Eat at Home, Everyday Food for Busy People with the mission of helping busy families put dinner on the table. Tiffany creates recipes with the needs of these families in mind. Each week she publishes free menus with complete grocery lists. You can find over 2 years’ worth of free menus on her blog. Tiffany is also the author of Feast in 15, an eBook focusing on 15 minute meals, available at feastin15.com and on Kindle.

Kellie Tate - I’m the Mom in the

school drop off lane that doesn’t look her best every morning. I’d much rather stay up late & create, than get beauty sleep. That’s the honest truth. I never thought it was going to be like this ~ S@HM of 3, living in an almost 100 year old house, sewing in between diaper changes, blogging, DIYing & creating all along the way. But I wouldn’t change one thing about it. I’m proof that His plans were far better for me, than I could ever imagine.

Meet contrib

t our butors

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Laura Powell is a mom of

3, two handsome boys and one beautiful girl along with her hubby. She has had a love for cooking since she was a young girl and shares her passion for cooking at realmomkitchen.com. She just released cookbook in August to help other families “keep things real in the kitchen� and get dinner on the table.

Holly Syx

Holly is a Christian, homeschooler, blogger, coffee lover. Wife to 1 awesome hunk & 6 little kiddos call her mommy. Oh, and she loves to help people save money! You can find her online at iGoBOGO.com and FoodAllergyCooking.Net.

Barbara Bakes loves to

bake, especially cookies, cakes, and pies. In addition to sharing her kitchen adventures, creating BarbaraBakes.com was a great way to use her web design experience and Mass Communication degree.

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This season’s top 10 holiday gifts by Holly Syx

Homemade gifts are wonderful! It is always nice to receive a gift from someone that has been made with love. Homemade gifts can be very personal, and usually mean a lot to the giver and the receiver. However, most folks will still have people on their list for whom they will need to purchase that perfect gift. Need some ideas? Here are some great gift ideas for those special people in your life: Kindle Fire Do you have a reader on your list? The Kindle Fire will make a great gift for them! Amazon has really done it right with their new Kindle Fire. Users will be able to not only read their favorite books in full color, but they will also be able to watch movies, play games, listen to music, browse the internet and many other things available on the Kindle Fire.

Roku Player Another must-have in today’s households is the Roku Player 2. Just plug this little black box into your TV and you will be able to stream Amazon Movies, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Fox News and more! Prices start at $59.

Kitchen Aid Mixer The baker in your life will love this one! The Kitchen Aid Mixer makes life in the kitchen so much easier and much more fun! Lego If you are buying for a creative kiddo ages 6-10 then you can’t go wrong with Legos! These classic blocks have been around for years and aren’t going away soon. Legos provide fun for the kiddos for hours at a time! Affordably priced you can find Lego Kits at all price ranges. Melissa and Doug Melissa & Doug Toys have stood the test of time. For years Melissa & Doug

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have created toys, puzzles, and games for little ones. The quality in Melissa & Doug Toys is amazing and is sure to please any little one. Photo Gifts What doting parent or grandparent wouldn’t want to dress up their desk with the little one’s face? Photo Gifts are a Great way to show how much you love them. A photo desktop pencil holder, wooden box or mousepad from Shutterfly all make great gifts! Old Navy This is a great gift for the loved on on your list that you’re just not sure what to get. An Old Navy Gift card will go a long way in showing them you love them. Old Navy has classic yet fashionable clothing for men, women, and children. They will be sure to find something they love at Old Navy!

Food Gift Baskets Do the loved ones in your life love to eat? Amazon has some great gift basket ideas for all different types. Every palate from Gourmet to Coffee to Super sweet will be satisfied with these Gift Baskets from Amazon! Bath & Body Works For those on your list who love to pamper themselves you’ll find just the perfect thing at Bath & Body Works. Be sure to check out their Holiday scents like Vanilla Bean Noel or Winter Candy Apple.

We’ve taken the classic Yo-Yo to new heights!

Embellishing winter accessories is a great way to add one of a kind handmade touches for everyone on your list. With dollar bins at nearly every store, one can find pieces to embellish to their heart’s delight and stay on budget.

Splendid embellishments

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by Kellie Tate

Your fabric selection is where the personality of the your gift will shine through. Whether you’re making it for a young girl, teenager or adult, don’t be scared to play with patterns and color in your choices of fabric.

gloves & socks range from $1-$3 per pair

Supplies needed: needle and thread 1/8 of a yard of 3-4 different fabrics scissors fabric glue Quick YoYo maker

Just follow the instructions on the YoYo maker if you haven’t made them before. It’s easy as pie and they’ll turn out flawless everytime.

Any type of fabric glue will work beautifully for all your embellishments. Just allow it to dry completely, and you’ll be ready to wrap these lovely, semihomemade gifts up and place under the tree.

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Upcycle: sweater stockings by: Gina Luker

Simple thrift store sweaters & a little sewing = a new twist on the Christmas staple!

Thrift store sweaters are so easy to find - and even easier to transform into something you’ll want to use Tip : be s year after year - a classic stocking! Each adult size ure t both o sew s sweater will yield two stockings. Simply use an old trim tockings be ming stocking and trace out the shape, two per sweater, to pr fore ev unrav flipped inside out. Sew along the lines, being sure eling! ent to add in the hanging ribbon. Cut outside the seam, then turn right side out, and you have two stockings.

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Blow, blow, thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude. ~William Shakespeare

Visit by clicking here

Click here to visit

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Do you know any tea drinkers?

by Tiffany King

If so, you’ll want to make some of these Vanilla Honey Spoons for tea. The bowl of the spoons are filled with honey candy that melts into a cup of hot tea, sweetening the steaming drink.

ingredients: • • • • •

1/2 cup honey 2 cups sugar 2 tsp. vanilla 1 Tbs. vinegar 1/4 cup water

Stir all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon in a heavy saucepan. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook over medium heat until the temperature reaches the hard crack stage on the thermometer. Stir continuously. Remove pan from heat. Prepare 2 cookie sheets by spraying them with cooking spray. Dip the spoons into the candy, filling the bowl of the spoon. Gently set on cookie sheet. Let cool. The candy will harden. Wrap individually in plastic wrap to store or for gift giving. Makes 30-40 spoons. **I found that it helped to prop the ends of the spoons on books, so that the hot candy didn’t run out of the spoon.** I dressed these up a bit, by using real spoons instead of plastic. Check big box stores or dollar stores for inexpensive spoons. I found mine at Walmart for $1 for 4. The spoons make great gifts. Pair them with a tea cup or mug and a box of tea bags, give a whole set of spoons along with a pretty tea pot, or match them up with homemade cocoa mix, tea bags and maybe some chocolate spoons too. The possibilities are endless and all of them would make a thoughtful gift.

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frozen peppermint cheesecakes in a jar by Amy Allen Clark

I have a theory:

any gift given in a little jar is a tad more special and certainly cuter if it is packaged sweetly. This year I wanted to create holiday hostess gifts that would long be remembered, but quickly be used. What could be more memorable or useful than a tiny cheesecake in a jar? The possibilities with this fun food craft are endless. Convert your favorite no bake cheesecake into a sweet gift and decorate your jar with your favorite craft technique whether it is spray paint, decoupage, or a scrap of fun fabric. These gifts can easily be personalized and will be a fun treat for your hostess. I guarantee if you made me one of these, I would have you over and over again!

10 Half Pint Ball Jars Cooking Spray 2 cups of chocolate sandwich cookies (approximately 17 cookies) Âź cup granulated sugar Âź cup unsalted butter, melted 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 2 teaspoons peppermint extract 2 cups whipping cream, whipped Red food coloring 20 peppermint candies 3 freezer bags 1 rolling pin For decorating jars (optional): Red Spray Paint, Green Grosgrain Ribbon, and Hot Glue Place your chocolate sandwich cookies in a freezer bag and use a rolling pin to smash the bag of cookies until they become cookie crumbs. Add your melted butter and sugar to the bag and mash the bag in your hands until the three ingredients pull together to create your crust and are well incorporated. Take the lids off of your glass jars and place them on a cookie sheet to contain the mess. Spray each of the jars with cooking spray. Put two spoonfuls of cookie crumbs into each jar and use the back of the spoon or your hands to press the crust into each jar. Slide the cookie sheet of jars back into the freezer to chill while you prepare the filling. In a large bowl, beat your cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually pour in a can of sweetened condensed milk until it is smooth. Stir in your peppermint extract and red food coloring, approximately three drops, to achieve a pale pink color. Mix all of these ingredients well. Fold in your whipped cream. Remove your tray of jars from the freezer. Using a standard ice cream scoop, add one scoop of filling to each of your jars. Use the back of a small spoon to smooth the filling on top until it is level and smooth. Remove the wrappers from your peppermint candies. Place the peppermint candies into a double-bagged freezer bag and use your rolling pin to smash these into small pieces to garnish your cheesecakes. Sprinkle the broken peppermints on top of each one. Screw the lids back on your jars and put these back into the freezer. Freeze for two hours or until firm.

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Remove the bands from the jars and set aside. Outside or in a well-ventilated area, spread your jar lids out on newspaper. Shake your spray paint well. Slowly and evenly, spray your spray paint back and forth until all of the lids are covered with the spray paint. Allow these to dry for at least thirty minutes. Plug in your glue gun and allow it to heat up. Tie grosgrain ribbon (any width you desire) into a small bow. Place your spray-painted lids on top of your jars and screw the bands into place. Squirt a tiny dot of hot glue on the back of your bow and place it on top in the center of your lid. Hold it in place for a minute. Sit back and bask in your crafting glory.

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Pie crust perfection

tips & tricks that make it easy

by BarbaraBakes.com

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I believe the secret of a perfect pie crust

is to use mostly shortening, but also a little butter. You get the flakiness from the shortening and the great taste from the butter. When I was younger I was intimidated by making pie crust. The few times I tried they looked terrible. The crust fell apart when I was trying to move it from the counter to the pie plate, or if I managed to get it in the pie plate in one piece it shrank when I baked it. I was usually disappointed with the flavor and they weren’t as flaky as I liked. Then one day I saw Martha make a pie crust on her show and it was a light bulb moment for me. She rolled the dough out between sheets of plastic wrap so it was easy to transfer to a pie plate. I also learned the importance of keeping all the ingredients really cold. High heat explodes solid fat particles. The explosions create steam which lightens and crisps the pastry. At lower oven temperatures, the fat just softens and melts—no explosion, no steam, no flaky crust. I love the precision and science of baking and now making pie crusts makes sense. Here’s a step by step tutorial with pictures to help you make a perfect pie crust too!

Perfect Pie Crust Recipe (double crust)

2 1/2 c. flour 1 t. salt 1/4 c. unsalted butter, chilled 2/3 c. shortening, chilled (I use butter-flavored shortening) 5 to 7 T. ice water Combined flour and salt in a bowl. Cut butter and shortening into small cubes. Cut butter and shortening into flour until it resembles very coarse meal. Gradually add water 1 Tablespoon at a time mixing with a fork. Divide in half, form into two round disks, and wrap in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes. Bake unfilled pie crust 15 – 20 min. at 450º.

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Step 1: Cut the butter and shortening in to small pieces so that it incorporates in to the flour more easily. You want to keep the fat as cold as possible, so cutting it in to small pieces helps you work quickly. Step 2: Cut the butter in to the flour using a pastry cutter until you have little pea sized chunks. You can use a food processor to cut in the butter, but I haven't had very good luck doing that. I usually over process the butter in a food processor. Step 3: Stir in the water one tablespoon at a time with a fork. The mixture will still be pretty dry. Step 4: Use your hands to gather the dough together. You don't want to handle it too much because your hands will heat up the dough. Step 5: Dump the dough in the center of a sheet of plastic wrap. Step 6: Use the plastic wrap to knead the dough together just a little bit. So it forms a round, flat disc. Step 7: Wrap the plastic wrap around the dough and chill for at least 30 minutes. Step 8: After chilling, remove the dough from the plastic wrap and place it between two (I usually use four - two on top and two on the bottom) sheets of plastic wrap. Step 9: Roll the pie crust out in a circle. If the plastic wrap gets tucked under the dough just straighten it. When I had a Formica counter top the dough would slide around on the counter, so I used a Silpat underneath so it didn't slide. Step 10: Roll the crust out large enough so that you have plenty of crust for the sides. I like to put the dish in the middle to measure it. Step 11: Peel off the top sheet of plastic and pick up the bottom sheet of plastic/ dough and flip it over into your pie plate. Step 12: Don’t stretch the dough when fitting it in the pie plate or it will shrink back as it bakes. After you've fit the crust in the pan, press it gently against the sides and bottom to ensure that no air is trapped between the dough and the pan. Peel the bottom sheet of plastic off after your dough is fitted into the pie plate. Step 13: Finish the edges. This time I used a pretty quiche pan, so I just trimmed it even with the top. Step 14: Prick the crust. Chill the pie crust for at least another 30 minutes before baking or filling with your favorite pie filling.

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Tips & tricks -Fat and water should be ice cold before mixing. If you are making the dough in a food processor you can even freeze the fat before using it. (I rarely use a food processor because I think it processes the fat to small.) -Measure flour carefully; never scoop the flour with the measuring cup. Add ice water gradually, mix quickly with a fork and try to gather the dough into a disk. If it crumbles and won’t hold together, add more water, a little at a time. -Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. It will be easier to handle, less likely to shrink and bake up flakier. -Roll the dough out between two sheets of plastic wrap. (I usually use two on the bottom and two on top – straighten the plastic when necessary.) Roll the dough from the center out using even firm rolls. Turn the dough as you work, about an eighth of a turn for each roll will help to keep it round. (Putting the bottom plastic wrap on a Silpat helps keep it from moving while you're rolling it out.) -Peel off the top sheet of plastic and pick up the bottom sheet of plastic/dough and flip it over into your pie plate. Peel the bottom sheet of plastic off after you dough is fitted into the pie plate. -Don’t stretch the dough when fitting it in the pie plate or it will shrink back as it bakes. Press it gently against the sides and bottom to insure that no air is trapped between the dough and the pan to form blisters. -Once the dough has been rolled out and transferred to the pie plate let it chill in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes before filling or baking. (You can chill it after rolling it out if it's getting too soft. ) -Use a hot oven. High heat explodes solid fat particles (you chill dough to harden the fat). The explosions create steam which lightens and crisps the pastry. At lower oven temperatures, the fat just softens and melts—no explosion, no steam.

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-Brush the bottom and sides of the unbaked pie crust with lightly beaten egg white. This will help to brown the crust. -For a browned bottom crust use dark metal or heatproof glass pans. Shiny pans deflect heat away from the pie so the crust doesn’t brown and crisp well. If using shiny or thin pans, place on a cookie sheet. -When baking a double crust pie, be sure that the top crust has holes cut or poked in it so that steam can escape when baking. -Crust repairs. It’s no big deal and patching is easy. Roll a scrap of dough a little larger than the damaged area. Trim the edges, dampen them lightly with water, and place the patch, damp-side-down, over the break. Seal by pressing the edges of the patch gently with your fingers.

Farmers’ Market Tomato and Zucchini Quiche Ingredients:

1 9 in crust (See my pie crust above for my recipe) 4 large eggs 1 cup milk (I used 1%) 1/2 cup zucchini, halved and sliced 4 slices precooked bacon, diced 2 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup fresh corn, cut off the cob 1/2 cup shredded cheese 1 tablespoon freeze dried cilantro 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper 1/2 cup assorted cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 425º. Press crust into a 9 in quiche pan, prick crust and bake for 15 minutes. Place cut zucchini in a strainer and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let sit for 15 minutes to remove some of the water. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. Add the zucchini, bacon, green onion, corn, cheese, cilantro, salt and pepper and mix well. Pour the egg mixture into the precooked crust. Sprinkle the tomatoes on top of the egg mixture. Bake for 30 minutes until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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Pumpkin Bars

by Laura Powell

Nothing says Fall to me like the smell of pumpkin and when Fall rolls around you will find the smell of pumpkin bars wafting through my house at least one time during the season. Now these delicious bars can be topped with chocolate chips or cream cheese frosting. Either one is great but I am partial to the cream cheese frosting. My husband enjoys them more with the chocolate chips. So, when I make these I usually cover half with chocolate chips and the other half with cream cheese frosting. This way I can make everyone happy!

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Pumpkin Bars

ingredients: 6 eggs 1 1/2 cup canola oil 3 cups sugar 1 1/2 tsp vanilla 1 large can (29 oz) pumpkin 3 1/4 cup flour 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 Tbsp cinnamon 1 1/2 tsp. salt 2 cups chocolate chips or cream cheese frosting 1. Mix together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin. Fold in dry ingredients and pour into jelly roll pan (13 x 18 pan). 2. At this point you can sprinkle the bars with the chocolate chips or not. All depends on how you want to top them, do the chocolate chips now or wait and frost with cream cheese frosting. 3. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. If choosing to top them with the frosting, allow the bars to cool and then frost with cream cheese frosting (see recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 oz) package of cream cheese 1 cup butter, softened 2 cups powdered sugar 2 tsp vanillaBlend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. This is enough frosting to cover the whole pan of pumpkin bars.

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Gifts from the kitchen: A basket of butters by Liz Latham Giving a gift from your kitchen is not only memorable, but also a great way to stay within your budget this holiday season. Your friend, co-worker, neighbor or even your children’s teacher will love to receive this basket filled with Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Apple Butter and Pumpkin Butter. The Cinnamon Raisin Bread was made in the bread machine, and the butters simmered all day in the slow cooker, making this basket super easy also. If you don’t have a bread machine, never fear, just pick up a loaf of bread at your local bakery.

­­ Cinnamon Raisin Bread ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

1 cup milk, room temperature 3 tablespoons butter, softened 3 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 egg, room temperature and beaten lightly 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 cups bread flour 2 1/4 teaspoons quick-rise yeast 1 cup raisins

Instructions: Add all ingredients, except raisins, to the bread machine in order listed {or as directed in your bread machine manual}. Set the bread machine to the Sweet Dough or Specialty setting. And start. Add the raisins when the machine sounds the signal, or about 5 minutes before the kneading cycle has finished. When the machine is done, remove cylinder from machine and let bread cool.

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Pumpkin Butter ● 2 (15 oz) cans pumpkin {not pumpkin pie filling} or 4 ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

cups fresh pumpkin puree 1 1/4 cups maple syrup 1/2 cup apple juice or cider 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions: Add all ingredients to a large slow cooker and cook on low for about 6-8 hours. The Pumpkin Butter will be thick like jam when it’s finished. Let pumpkin butter cool and ladle into jars or freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal and store in refrigerator.

It wouldn’t be Fall and the Holidays without Pumpkin, and this Pumpkin Butter is a perfect topping for the Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

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Apple Butter ● Apples, peeled, cored and cut into large slices {enough ● ● ● ● ● ●

to fill your slow cooker, I used about 10 apples} 2 cups white sugar {or part brown sugar if you like} 1/2 - 1 cup apple juice or cider {if needed} 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 tablespoon vanilla

Instructions: Peel, core and slice apples and place in slow cooker. Add the vanilla. Turn on low and cook for about 7-8 hours, add apple juice if the apples are too dry. Add the sugar, spices and vanilla and continue cooking for another 5-6 hours. Let cool. If you like the Apple Butter smooth, you can run it through the food processor. Ladle into jars or freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal and store in refrigerator.

Apple Butter is my absolute favorite spread for bread, toast and of course, biscuits. Cooking the Apple Butter in the slow cooker gives it a rich, deep flavor and gives the spices time to mingle together.

Now comes the fun part, gather your supplies: basket, some filler, material, ribbon, Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Butters, put them all together for an amazingly delicious gift. You can use Chalkboard Tags or the printable on the next page!

Printable gift tags

Click here to download, print, cut & you’re ready to wrap!

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Objects of Tradition transform your holiday with every day objects

by Liz Latham

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One of the things I love most is to decorate with items that I find in my home, and decorating our Christmas Trees are no exception. Creating a themed tree by using antique kitchen utensils, cookie cutters, garlands made with popcorn, cranberries and dried fruit adds a little whimsy to your holiday decorations not to mention it is budget friendly as well.

Use items from your home to create an unique themed tree!

My hubby wanted to have real candles on the tree but we settled on these wonderful flickering flame lights that we found in the Christmas section of the hardware store. After the lights were strung, we started decorating with garland made from gingham fabric that we ripped into 3 inch wide strips, leaving the edges raw adds a little interest and speeds up the decorating.

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Make your own popcorn & fruit garland by Liz Latham

You will need...

Oranges – sliced about 1/4 inch thick Apples – sliced about 1/4 thick Lemon juice to brush onto the apples Fresh Cranberries Popped Popcorn – no butter or salt Needle and clear thread

Instructions to dry fruit:

Slice oranges and apples. Brush apples on both sides with lemon juice. Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place the fruit on the cooling rack and bake in a slow oven, about 250 degrees for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, watching them closely. By baking them on the cooling rack, the bottoms also bake, and you don’t have to flip them over part way through the baking. Allow the fruit to cool completely. Then pop the corn, grab the cranberries and start stringing.

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to k ! clic now it s i v

For the birds

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by Liz Latham Inspiration for a Christmas Tree can come from many different places. Thinking outside the box and envisioning a tree from an unusual object can sometimes turn into something grand.

And not only is this Bird Tree a statement in the front of our home, it’s also loved by the birds. We started building our Bird Tree with some old garden trellises, we happened to have two that matched, but you could use some that are different, wooden trellises or even an old ladder.

Start with the large objects first, just like you would on a Christmas Tree. We decided not to put lights on and keep it more animal friendly. However, we did add a couple Aqua Mason Jars filled with bird seed and a tea light and an old lantern. By using a mixture of red and white gingham check and narrow red ribbon, it gives the Bird Tree interest. Next we added a few Bird Ornaments that I purchased from TheShabbyCreekShop.etsy. com. There were five in a package and also come in black, but I love the blue birds.

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The garlands are made with oranges, apples dipped in peanut butter and bird seed, and the round disks are homemade suet. The suet is very easy to make, here’s is what you will need... 1 cup shortening 1 cup peanut butter 1 cup flour 3 cups cornmeal 1/2 cup each of various filler like bird seed, oats, dried fruit, cranberries, raisins or nuts

Homemade Suet Instructions: Combine shortening and peanut butter in a large saucepan on the stove. Heat until melted, add the flour and cornmeal, and mix well. Add your filler ingredients just until combined. Spray a cupcake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press the mixture into the pan. Use a straw to form the hole. Let set out to dry overnight. The suet can also be formed into balls and strung or even just placed in a feeder for the birds.

Of course, a Christmas Tree wouldn’t be complete without a topper, so we added a grapevine wreath, a little ivy cut from the yard, a handful of berries and a bow. Now your friendly feathered friends will enjoy the holidays too!

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e h t r Fo

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Decorating with roadside finds & hand me down treasures is more than just about staying on a budget. Learning to embrace the quirks of vintage pieces can help bring charm and style to a space faster than you can clean the rust off of it!


k o o l e et th

on to ck b b i r sti Use d r a y n a cking o i h s a f sto into a Thumbtackse r. ac hange old it in pl e help hhe top of th on t antle. m

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A little handmade goes a long way! Sparkly monograms cut from glittered scrapbook paper are a quick way to add a personal touch. Want to take it a step further? Learn to make sweater stockings on page 12 of this issue.

Get the

look Adding every d in your own basic m ay items, like candles ercury glass tic vintageks, keeps the relevan infusion tt persona o your own l style.

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k o o l t the o


t n o i t n te Pay at ails. Small t the de es can have g packa le with some c y big st sheet musi e vintag twine bow. and a

Mixing unusual items, such as a plow handle, a wire spool and a simple tree branch creates a message to remember this holiday season. There are letters all around, just waiting to be discovered!

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