Easy Christmas Chocolate Truffles

  • 20 squares of semi-sweet chocolate, divided
  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
  • peanuts, chopped (optional)
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • peppermint candy, crushed (optional)
  1. Place 8 chocolate squares in a small bowl.
  2. Heat the chocolate squares in the microwave until just melted.
  3. Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy.
  4. Blend melted chocolate into the cream cheese.
  5. Refrigerate until firm
  6. Shape mixture into small balls (approximately 36).
  7. Place the balls on a baking sheet that has been covered with waxed paper.
  8. Melt remaining chocolate in the microwave.
  9. Use a fork or metal tongs to dip truffles into the melted chocolate.
  10. Place each chocolate covered truffle in a mini baking cup.
  11. Decorate with peanut pieces and/or sprinkles, or peppermint candies.
  12. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Ta Da - Things are back to normal...

...or maybe I should say as normal as they get here at Toad Hall. For those of you who had been here today - note the clean as new floor..& Jonathan calling around to see if he could find a home for the leftover soup...So when I said 'Not to worry about the floor to come in get warm and have some eats' it was with good reason. The paper runners (along with the blue/green reversable tarp) were a nice touch...Jonathan said all we needed was a camero and el camino(maybe on chocks) in the circular driveway to make the scene complete. BUT we had a blast...it could have REALLY rained and instead we just had a steady drizzle. It didn't seem to daunt the 180 or so people who were here making ~200 lighted Christmas balls. You brought food for us to eat (Thanks Justin and MIllie for heading up all that in the dining room) and you brought food for the food banks (more than last year) and $$ for the food banks...$418 total ( $285 for 2nd Harvest & $183 for Greensboro Urban Ministry) Kathy, Lee, and Beth did a 'souper' job of 'womaning' the stone soup and everyone had plenty to eat and we had 3 gallons leftover to take to Pathways/Potters House. We took some of the leftover rolls which Gardner contributed and the folks there seemed MOST appreciative. I will say that having the incredible host families to help was the greatest gift of all to Jonathan and me. From all the early birds who selflessly came and cut the 1/3 mile of chicken wire beforehand to Jane and Janet laying what must have seemed like a 1/4 mile of brown paper on the carpets with tape no less to the girls 'womaning' the light kit distribution and coming out with the right amount of $$ for the supplies used...thanks Dava, Marlene, Janet, Linda, Brenda, Susan, Lee, Cindy, and GOODNESS I hope I haven't missed anyone. The full compliment of tarp/tent installers: Gardner, Jeff, Drayton, John, Scott, Phil, Jamey, and Emmett just provided the shelter we needed - did I thank all of you for bringing the tailgating tents and the tables (Linda secured 6 from OLG - WOW picked them up delivered them and is taking them back - can I say WOW???? I DO THANK ALL OF YOU for that...we couldn't have pulled it off without those. The expert ball makers John, Marcia, Beth, Clay, Ali, Claire, Phil, Jamey,Daniel, Bethann, and Ferd were all here to teach everyone how to do it and even make a few for folks. We had lots of new neighbors, old neighbors, some folks who had called who didn't live in the neighborhood (5 from Winston Salem) and a couple of drop-ins who were just driving by and joined the fun. I saw several of you (Scott, Millie and Marlene for sure) taking many photos so when you send those over....I will post lots of them and as your creations grow in your yards/trees, send some photos of those over as well. Finally thanks for the fire barrels - and Gardner the music was over the top. Most of all and the most important part is that all of you made everyone feel welcome and you are just the greatest Hosts/Hostesses including all the kids - David, Graham, Liam, Rowan, Sabine(aka Sabine the soup girl), Scott, Izzy, Miles, Walter, and Marlee + I know there were others...shoot me their names and I will include them. All of you guys give a great party - thanks for being part of this wonderful day. Let there be LIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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2 new ornament finishes.

I have no clue as to why I keep on stitching. But I found this ornament and it was a have to do for myself and my dear stitching friend Toni! They will be finished as pin keeps. The chart is by Nona Matherne. I found it saved on my PC. I can't even remember when I downloaded the chart! The chart can be found at cyberstitchers. Have a great day stitching laurel

Vacation stitching...

I was in Arizona visiting my daughter for Thanksgiving but did manage to finish this ornament from the current JCS Ornament Issue.
Turtle Dove by Courtney Collection
Fabric: 16 ct. aida in Khaki by Sassy's Fabbys
Thread: Manor Red by Crescent Colours

November Ornament

Tipsy Tree by Charland Designs, Inc
Just Cross Stitch 2007 Ornament Issue Magazine
Stitched on 28 count natural linen
with GAST threads.
Substituted Baby Spinach with Forest Glade.

Need Help Hanging those Christmas Balls this year?

Need help hanging those Christmas Balls this year? I have a bucket truck to help you...

Call Dean Harviel @ 336-399-2766

I was out in front trying to dislodge two totally hung up Lighted Christmas Balls from last year when a guy driving a bucket truck stopped in front of my house, unrolled his window, and asked if he could help. Dean and his friend, Laurie had discovered the Lighted Christmas Balls last year and came back to check them out. Dean's Mom (in Salisbury) really wanted him to come by and take a close look to see how to make 'em, and the Bucket Truck was as good a Trojan Horse as there ever was. Dean and Laurie stopping to offer help at the moment I needed it was a surprise joy. While Dean was hitching up to go aloft, I took a couple of shots, and invited them to the Sunday's workshop. I said I'd put his contact info on the blog and post his flyer at at the check in tent tomorrow. Dean smiled big and said, "let's just call it even." Thanks again, Dean. (Note, I've got a short video in *.3g2 format that I need to convert to *.AVI so I can post them here. Any thoughts on what program to covert them with?).

Christmas Traditions

Some Lessons Learned
by Lloyd and Karmel Newell

When our children were small, we learned a few key lessons from them about what makes for good Christmas traditions.


Keep it Simple

Because our third child was born about a month before Christmas, we knew there would have to be less hustle and bustle that year. We spent more nights at home; we attended fewer events; we did less shopping—but we had one of our best Christmases ever. We gathered by the fire and read stories. We played together. We thought of the baby Jesus. In those quiet moments, early in the morning or late at night, holding a newborn, a fresh perspective on Christmas came into view. Christmas was a celebration of love: God’s love for us, our love for Him and for His Son, and our love for one another. Traditions strengthen bonds of love. They are to bless, not burden the people we love.

Focus on what matters; be flexible.

Worthwhile traditions have purpose. Whether the purpose is to serve, to teach, or just to have fun, watching for and being sensitive to changing needs of family members is a key to establishing good traditions. Late one December night, we were returning from yet another after-hours visit to the pediatrician. Our then three-year-old son was holding his ears trying to alleviate the pain form an ear infection. We asked him if he would like to drive by a home that we called the “Christmas house” because it had so many beautiful Christmas lights. We were surprised when he said, “No, I want to drive by the temple.” He was in pain, and he wanted some comfort. He wanted to feel close to Jesus. We were humbled as we drove past the temple, and we couldn’t help but think that sometimes we look for Christmas in all the wrong places.

What may have worked last time, what may have worked twenty years ago, may no longer be the best tradition for a dynamic family unit. Adjusting traditions and not just doing “what’s always been done” is good for families.

Be joyful

One Christmas night, our family was excited to hear carolers at our front door. The children raced to see who it was. Imagine their surprise when they saw their aunt, uncle, and cousins from across the country on our doorstep. Our children squealed with delight! They jumped up and down. They hugged each other and could hardly let go of their cousins throughout the stay-over. A couple of days into all of the fun, our then four-year-old son exclaimed, “We’ve never had carolers stay so long!”

Remembering is half the fun!

Even when traditions don’t go as well as hoped, even when traditions are met with some resistance, even when it seems that our best efforts failed, the meaning of the tradition may change over time. The perceived outcome is not as important as the effort. Stay committed. It took years of writing in our “Christmas Journal” before our children began to appreciate the idea of keeping a record. Now one of the first things they look for in the boxes of Christmas decorations is the little red journal that holds special Christmas memories. One entry reminds us of how our children used to slur a couple of holidays together. When talking about gifts the wise men brought, they’d say, “Gold, Frankenstein, and Myrrh.”

*Excerpted from A Christmas Treasury for Latter-day Saint Families; Deseret Book
I really liked this article, so I decided to share it! Enjoy your family traditions!

Ornament for my son

Hi Everyone,
I stitched this little Christmas ornament for my cat loving son.
The design is by The Cat's Whiskers Design Studio, Krazy Kitties series.
Stitched on 28 count Jobelan with DMC threads.
Happy stitching, Sue in Australia.

Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hand made cookie bags for home made cookies!

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!
The real, the original, the authentic Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Spread into greased 15"x10" jelly-roll pan. Bake in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (>5,200 feet): INCREASE flour to 2 1/2 cups; add 2 teaspoonfuls water with flour; reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookies for 17 to 19 minutes.

Christmas Tree - Michael Powell

In keeping with the November theme, I stitched this tree from Michael Powell. Most of his freebies have been buildings - a lighthouse, churches and cottages - but his most recent was this tree.

Gratitude Magnets

Together, Grateful, and Blessed! Thank you Lynna, I'm grateful for you!

Christmas Countdown to Kisses!

A sweet countdown to Christmas from Grandma!
How many days till Christmas?
It's mighty hard to count
so in the bag there's kisses
to show the exact amount!
each evening when goodnights are said
enjoy a sweet kiss and hop into bed
when you unwrap the final kiss
tomorrow will be Christmas!

New Here

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for allowing me to join. I'm Sally, I'm a SAHM to 2 teenage girls and I live in a small seaside town on the east coast of England. I have joined to stitch at least one Christmas ornament each month starting in 2009. I had planned to do that this year but it just didn't happen so thought joining here would give me the incentive to do it next year:)

I have stitched a few ornaments recently so here's the ones I can show so far.

November Ornament

Glad Tidings
by Belinda Karls-Nace
of Blue Ribbon Designs
Here is my ornament for November. All I have left to do is put a hanger on it. It is from the 2008 JCS Christmas issue.

Easy Christmas Chai Tea

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger (if not available use 1/8 teaspoon of powdered Ginger)
  • 4 Ceylon or black tea bags (our favorite is Lipton)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
Cooking Instructions:
  1. In a large saucepan bring water and the ginger to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add tea bags, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, peppercorns, and milk.
  4. Steep over medium to low heat about 5 minutes.
  5. Strain through a fine strainer or sieve and discard the solid pieces.
  6. Stir in the honey (more or less to taste).
  7. Pour into mugs.
Serve hot and garnish with a cinnamon stick to use as a stirrer (optional).

Prairie Schooler Ho Ho Ho

Prairie Schooler Ho Ho Ho
Gift of Stitching Magazine
DMC, Jobelan Beige 28 ct evenweave
Stitched by Anita D

French Blog Noel Santa

French Blog Noel Santa Freebie
DMC, Lugana 20 ct Opalescent fabric
Stitched by Anita D

Angel Ornament

Hi Everyone,
I've finished another ornament. This the 1986 Freebie Amish Angel from Told in A Garden found here.
Stitched on 28 count piece of fabric from my stash with DMC Threads.
I have a couple more ornies to finish before Christmas, so I better get stitching.
Happy Stitching, Sue in Australia.

Easy Christmas Pumpkin Pie

  • Easy Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie1 prepared pie shell
  • 16 ounces canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups milk
  • 4 large eggs
Cooking Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine pumpkin, cane sugar, spices and salt in a mixer bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Transfer to medium saucepan and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the milk and return briefly to simmer.
  5. In separate small bowl, whisk the eggs together.
  6. Return pumpkin mixture to mixer bowl and, with the mixer running on medium speed, add the eggs slowly.
  7. Transfer mixture to pre-baked pie shell and bake on center rack for 25 minutes, or until the edges of the custard have cracked slightly and the center is set.
Tip: Cover edges of crust with strips of aluminum foil to prevent them from browning too much.

Cool pie on rack 1 hour before serving.

Christmas Treasures from a Loving Grandmother!

Every year my children will receive a hand-made ornament tied on top of their Christmas present from their Grandmother. I am always excited to see what their ornament will be each year, as well as what's inside, because it's usually hand made also! These are a sampling of some of the adorable ornaments that my children have received over the years! I have decorated many trees with these cute ornaments! Thank you Grandma, we love and appreciate you!

OSHA discovers Sunset Hills chicken wire cutting operation in total compliance

Anne and I arrived home from Asheville at 5:00 pm to find:
  1. our trailer piled high with chicken wire cut into 45" sections,
  2. about 5 dump trucks worth of leaves in our yard,
  3. and 45 minutes of daylight left.
We blew, raked, and mulched leaves till well after dark. About an hour into it, Anne noticed the garage lights were on and somebody was in there cutting chicken wire. Turns out it was none other than Cindy Wells, who cut an entire roll of chicken wire, single handedly. We returned to the leaves and left Cindy at her work. Jon discovered mulching isn't as precise as grass cutting and says you don't have to keep your tracks straight. By the light provided from the Bowman's side porch lamps and the headlights of cars turning from Ridgeway to Madison, he was able to knock it out. By 7:00 pm our tongues were hanging out. Cindy was still cutting wire like machine. At that point, there wasn't anything I could do but go fetch the bottle of 337 Cab, three wine glasses, and an opener. And so Anne and I made a toast to Cindy, who, I am sure, who works harder, smarter, and faster than any man. Cindy, for all you tool-belt conscious men, has her own Wiss Aircraft Shears and her own leather holster. About the time I snapped this pic, Jamey and Phil stopped by to see what six rolls of chicken wire looks like after its been chopped into 45" sections, and to give us the neighborhood "light" report:

On Rolling Road, their lights are on (why are we not surprised?), as are their neighbors on both sides of their house and three houses across the street, and on the corner of Rolling and East Greenway South. Jamey and Phil won't brag about themselves, so I'll have to: they made and hung all those Lighted Christmas balls.

On Friendly Avenue, I noticed the Dollars had their Lighted Christmas balls up and on this morning at 6:30 am. Way to go, Jim!

How all this chicken wire came to be

Last year about this time we were out in the front yard hoisting lights and a car stopped and unrolled its window. That wasn't unusual but what happened next was. Turns out the couple inside were Bill and Laura Womack from Raleigh. Bill grew up on Ridgeway, played all throughout Sunset Hills, and graduated from Greensboro Senior High School. Laura grew up on Sherrill Street in Lindley Park. Turns out Laura and Pat Wilcox (whom Daniel and Bethann Hassell bought their home from) have been friends since they were little girls. When we asked Bill and Laura how long they've known each other, they answered, in unison, "since 2nd grade." I guess when two people have known each other since 2nd grade they can finish each other's sentences. Bill made a career out of distributing hardware to retail stores. And when he said, "I can get you that chicken wire," Anne was quick to ask for his contact info. When Lowes didn't have any, Anne called Bill, who gladly obliged, and so Bill and Laura asked if we wanted to meet in Siler City and have lunch and transfer the wire. And so it was, Anne and I got to meet Bill and Laura for cheeseburgers and French fries at Johnson's Restaurant, which, as far as I could tell, holds 1st place in the cheeseburger category, and has for 62 years. After having more fun than the legal limit (Jon and Bill had 2nds on their cheeseburgers) we moved seven rolls of 150' wire (that's 3 1/2 football fields) from Bill's car to Anne's. When you see this couple at the workshop, be sure to stop and say Hi!
(This wonderful surprise took place on 11/19 but I forgot to post it then. I'll change its post date in a few days.) 

Easy Christmas Party Meatballs

  • Ultimate Party Meatballs16-ounce can Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce
  • 12-ounce bottle Heinz® Chili Sauce
  • 2-pound bag frozen, pre-cooked, cocktail-size meatballs
Cooking Instructions:
  1. Combine sauces in a large saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth.
  3. Add meatballs.
  4. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally.
Makes approximately 30 appetizer meatballs.

Slow cooker Preparation:
  1. Place meatballs in a slow cooker.
  2. Combine sauces and pour over meatballs.
  3. Cover and cook 4 hours on HIGH.
This recipe was taken from the Ocean Spray/Heinz website. For more great recipes like this visit www.ultimatepartymeatballs.com

For the top of the tree...

I made this beautiful star.


Design: Something in Common
Fabric: Murano 32 ct.
Threads: DMC, Kreinik
Stitched by: Ponechka from Russia

Christmas tree

free chats found here
Fabric: Cashel Linen 28 ct.
Threads: Indian silk with metallic
Stitched by Ponechka from Russia

3 for November

Quaker Christmas Tree
The Workbasket
Fabric: from stash
Fibers: Pine-GAST, DMC 500

I stitched these 2 ornaments a few years ago. I just pulled them out and backed them with felt and added a hanger.

Christmas Peace
Heart in Hand, JCS 2002
Fabric: from stash
Fiber: DMC, GAST


Ornaments are finished

Here are all my ornaments that I have done this year minus the house one that is on one of my trees (totally forgot about it) and 2 peace angels, that I have already given to the lady I take care of. It has been a good year for ornaments and stockings (I made 5 of them) Have a great day stitching. God Bless our Military. huggerz laurel

Easy Christmas Glazed Ham Recipe

  • 8 to 10 pound whole boneless ham
  • 16 oz. can of whole berry or jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard
Cooking Instructions:

Making The Sauce:
  1. Combine cranberry sauce, apricot preserves and honey mustard in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the preserves are melted and the sauce is smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Makes 2-1/4 cups of glaze.

Baking the Ham:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°.
  2. Place the ham in a shallow roasting pan in the middle of the oven.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer registers 140°.
  4. Baste liberally ham with the glaze during the last 45 minutes of baking.

Lighted Christmas Balls showing up all over the U.S.

Only a true geek would check the web visit stats to Lighted Christmas Balls. Since one week ago Saturday 11/14, lighted Christmas balls has had seventy visits, courtesy of a new friend, Alex, at Sparkleball.com, in San Diego. Alex has been making a similar but different Lighted Ball to celebrate Christmas many years. Starting out in Roanoake before taking the sparkleballs to Chapel Hill, she's now in San Diego. Alex is just one of those people who loves spreading joy. And when she discovered lighted Christmas Balls, she shared LCB with all her friends in California. This is truly the richness and reach of the internet at work and at play. Thank you Alex! Little dots on the image above represent where the most recent 100 visits to our site came from. The most recent visit (the red dot) came from Asheville, NC.

Wirecutters working wonders on wire

Friends Beth, Claire, Ali, Cindy, David and Gardner brave the cold to get the lighted Christmas ball kits ready for the 6th annual Sunset Hills lighted ball workshop and charity fund raiser. Each 150' roll of Chicken Wire will make about 40 lighted Christmas balls. That's a lot of wire cutting to make kits for 300 or more lighted Christmas Balls. It looks like Beth, Claire, and Ali invented a special system to make measuring faster and easier.

Claire and Ali had already helped out in a big way before helping cut wire: they hand-delivered invitations to families in the neighborhood for whom we didn't have email addresses. David is wondering which family will be the first to get their lighted Christmas balls up in the trees.

Anne and I spent last night and today with grandchildren Avery, Jackson in Asheville. Today, treat of all treats, we got to take them up to Windy Gap (13.4 miles NE) to see cousin Grayson and her Mom and Dad and a bunch of old and new Young Life friends. On the way up to Windy Gap, we saw some early Christmas lights. There must be a lot of excited people here. Avery announced she was ready to see lighted Christmas balls at Sunset Hills. (Well really, she said "Toad Hall" but I know she meant Sunset Hills . Avery is 2 1/2 and knows all about Christmas lights. Her cousin Grayson is 13 months and knows all about Christmas lights and a thing or two besides. Between the two, they have more passion for life than is safe to be around! But you'll never hear me complain.

My highlight today was getting to feed Grandson Jackson his 10:45 pm bottle. We talked all about the day and how much fun we had.

Another Christmas Ornament

Hi Everyone,
I finished another ornament this morning. It's from the JCS 2008 Christmas Ornaments magazine by Blackbird Designs. Stitched on 30 count Kortys Special Blend by R & R Reproductions with DMC Threads. It measures 3 inches wide by 3 & 1/2 inches long.
Happy Stitching, Sue in Australia.

Easy Christmas Fruitful Punch Recipe

  • 2 cups cranberry/raspberry juice drink, chilled
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup Vodka
  • 1/2 cup tangerine/grapefruit juice drink, chilled
  • 1/4 cup spice rum
  • 1/2 cup grapes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 fresh cranberries
  • 1 lemon, cut in slices
  • 1 lime, cut in slices
  • 1 orange, cut in slices
  • 1 apple, cut in slices
  • 1 cup sparkling water or club soda
Mixing Instructions:
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large punch bowl.
  2. Add fruit.
  3. Add sparkling water just before serving.
Makes approximately ten 5-ounce servings.

"The Night Before Thanksgiving" The Legend Of The Christmas Elves

A Fun Traditin that are family is going to start this year! Each year I pick a new Christmas book for our family to read or one that my children would like to read! This is the book I have chosen for this year!
“The Night Before Thanksgiving . . . The Legend of the Christmas Elves”, by Phyllis Porter Turner, is an imaginative, enchanting story written for the joy of children, and to set the stage for a most unique Classic Family Christmas tradition, serving as the official “KICK OFF” of the Christmas season!
Have you ever wondered how Santa knows who’s been good or bad? What about his list of good girls and boys? How does he REALLY know which names to put on this list? Well, it’s because of the “Elves Around The World“, of course! They have the pleasurable job of entertaining the children, playing hide and seek, watching for good behavior and reporting back to Santa every day! It is amazing to see what good behavior develops due to the presence of the elves! ha ha .

Our Christmas holiday season truly begins on Thanksgiving Eve when we read "The Night Before Thanksgiving . . . The Legend of the Christmas Elves," and wait for OUR elves: Mr. Snoops, Mr. Jingles and Mr. Peeps, to come from the North Pole to spend the holidays with us.

You can learn more about this fun family traditin from-- Elves Around The World.com/tradition.htm

Newest ornaments

I hadn't stitched many ornaments in a while, but 2 weekends ago, I got the ornament bug. This is what was born from the weekend. The one in the upper left is from Prairie Schooler and the 97or 98 JCS ornie issue. The upper right one is a Cricket Collection freebie from their website, and the one on the bottom is from LK Tiny Tidings from this year. The upper 2 are for exhanges. I think they all turned out really well. Thanks for looking!
This is Mr. Peeps' explanation:
Christmas is approaching, and this is the day
Santa has sent Mr. Peeps to your house to stay.

He sent this small elf to your house and mine.
The day after Thanksgiving, He must be on time.

Mr. Peeps has a purpose. His purpose will be,
To whisper to Santa all the good that he sees.

Soon after he gets here, he moves only at night
To high places, low places, he stays in plain sight.

In the kitchen, for instance, he sits high on a shelf.
Mr. Peeps can sit anywhere, for he is an elf.

He holds very still when he thinks you are watching.
His magic is precious, it fades with each touching.

He sits on the tree on Christmas Eve day.
He knows that Santa is soon on his way.

He waits and he waits without making a noise.
He waits until Santa arrives with the toys.

So you better be nice and mind what you say
Because Mr. Peeps will tell Santa when he comes with his sleigh.

Once Christmas is here and Santa has come,
Mr. Peeps must leave, for his job is well done.

But, he will return next year on the very same day,
To watch your behavior as you work and play.

- Sharon Reynolds

Easy Christmas Chocolate Turtles

  • 1/4 cup evaporated canned milk
  • 1-14 oz. package of caramels
  • 2-1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1-12 oz. package milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup paraffin
Cooking Instructions:
  1. Melt caramels and evaporated milk in a double boiler over low heat, stirring until creamy.
  2. Stir in the pecan halves.
  3. Spoon the caramel mixture onto a buttered or wax paper covered cookie sheet, making small piles.
  4. Cool in the refrigerator.
  5. Melt paraffin and milk chocolate chips in a double boiler until smooth.
  6. Using tongs dip the caramel pecan pieces into the chocolate mixture one at a time.
  7. Drop chocolate covered pieces onto wax paper.
  8. Store turtles in a plastic container at room temperature.
These make a great holiday gift!

What is paraffin wax and why is it in my chocolate candy recipe? Is it edible?

Answer: Paraffin wax, classified as a chemical preservative, is widely used on fruits, vegetables, and candy to make them shiny and pretty as well as to retard moisture loss and spoilage. Waxes are made from vegetable oils, palm oil derivatives, and synthetic resins, as well as other materials. Some people, notably those who are allergic to aspirin, may be sensitive to many waxes, depending on their ingredients.

Yes, it is edible. Paraffin wax is often added to chocolates. The addition of paraffin to the chocolate candy gives it a nice, glossy finish and helps it remain solid at room temperature. Be aware that paraffin is flammable when overheated, so warm it gently in a double-boiler or microwave only to the point where it is melted.

Where can I find it?

You can find paraffin wax, also sometimes called baker's wax or canning wax, in your grocery store where canning jars and supplies are sold. Paraffin is still commonly used (although not recommended) to seal home-canned jellies and jams. However, some paraffin is not intended to be ingested, such as that sold for candlemaking, so check the label.

Gulf Wax Paraseal Canning Wax, Household Paraffin Wax is a popular brand of paraffin used for canning and chocolate-making.

From: homecooking.about.com/od/cookingfaqs/f/faqparaffin.htm

Dear Life Is Good!

life is good said...
Dear Mrs. Deck The Halls
I need an Ornament made from fabric for our Quilt Group Christmas Party. We are doing an ornament exchange. Do you have any ideas?

I hope I have given you some ideas that you can use for your quilt group or ideas that will inspire you! Love, "Deck The Halls-Christmas"