Day 3 of Home for the Holidays: Welcome Jennifer Stewart!
Jennifer and "ran" into each other at several crafty webnairs, exchanged tweets, and are Facebook friends. Mostly I've admired Jennifer and her craft for awhile now. Check out Jennifer's blog and click on the links to her Esty shop and her work. Awesome! I'm blessed to have her as an "internet" friend.
Welcome Jennifer Stewart!
Christmas is a time for simplicity and old-fashioned traditions in our family - carol singing with songbooks, baking cookies with Grandma, homemade stockings on the mantle, focusing on the birth of Jesus, and a tree filled with ornaments that are either vintage, handmade or were purchased on a vacation or a place that brings back a sweet memory.
You won't find much modern Christmas music on my Ipod either. Instead you'll hear Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Percy Faith, and The Ray Conniff Singers, all introduced to me on our family stereo when I was little. Now I am carrying on these same traditions with our son, Noah.
I am a lover of all things vintage - old laces and ribbons, torn sheet music and hymnals, and kitschy and sparkly Christmas decor from past decades. As I peruse antique malls, I always look for old Shiny Brite ornaments, strings of Christmas lights with dime store tags, faded Santas, or glittery little decor that once adorned another family's home. (It's hard to put it away until November!) I look forward all year to the day we put up the Christmas tree and we get to enjoy all of these well-loved things for another holiday season.
(click on photo for more details)
Here are some photos that capture Christmas in our home -
1- While most of the vintage Shiny Brite balls that I collect go on our tree, I also like to gather them into glass vases and display them with glittery little Christmas houses.2- Our tree...I love our Santa Claus fur-trimmed tree skirt!
3- Vintage red and silver foil tinsel and a favorite old Shiny Brite ornament.
4- An old pedestal bowl full of silver glitter snowflakes and a vintage Christmas postcard. (old holiday postcards are great decor!)
5- Old World glass ornaments and my favorite strand of old flower lights.
6- simple, cherished nativity that sits in our dining room.
7- Our stairs are always adorned with garland and white lights!
8- More vintage ornaments on the tree.
9- Part of a Christmas decor piece I created last year with old lace, buttons, and a snowy wreath. (the wreath is a napkin holder from Target!)
10- I like to decorate in themes, arranging "like" items together. Our mantle is Santa-themed and these are some of my old Santas collected over the years.
11- This old ceramic tree is my favorite Christmas decor. It used to sit on top of the console TV when I was little and I always loved seeing it glow when we'd sit in the living room. My mom gave it to me several years ago and I was so happy to have it in our home!
12- A fun set of old colored lights I found at a thrift shop. They blink and are in such beautiful colors!
13- Another pretty way to display Shiny Brite ornaments is gathered on a glass cake pedestal with mercury bead strands.
If you've visited my blog, you know that another one of my passions is cooking. I'd like to share one of our favorite cookie recipes that we make each year. Chocolate and mint is a hit in our home, so these don't last long!
Chocolate Mint Swirl Cookies
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
Andes mints candies, broken in half (can also use candy cane Hershey Kisses!)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a saucepan over low heat, combine butter, sugar and water. Heat until melted, then add chocolate chips until partially melted. Remove from heat and stir well. Pour into large mixing bowl. Let stand 10 minutes to cool.
Beat in eggs one at a time on high speed. Reduce mixer to low speed and add flour, salt and baking soda. Beat until well-blended.
Chill one hour.
Roll into balls, place two inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes.
While cookies are still hot, place an Andes Mint half on top after taking them out from the oven. Allow to melt slightly and spread with a spoon or your clean fingertip. (that way you can lick your finger when done!)
Thank you for allowing me to share some Christmas spirit with you today. May each of you be blessed with a warm, wonderful Christmas season with those you love!
My Blog: The Simple Things
I love a vintage Christmas and I'm in love with the Shiny Bright Balls. I love the decoration and tree so much and I'm all for trying the Chocolate Mint Swirl Cookies during the holiday season. I can smell them now.
Make sure to come back tomorrow for Day Four's guest!