Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cinnamon Gingerbread

When you are reading this blog, please put your cursor on the image and press your left button on your computer. You will see several images of my gingerbread and items you will need to make them. On the recipe card, there are two recipes, one on the left and one on the right. I made the one on the right. I thought I would have a chance to make the other one but I didn't. I am always curious which recipes work better than others.
Your hands can get quite cinnamony when you are working with rolling the dough out to make your cinnamon ornaments. I have included the handwritten recipe for you to see that I have included with my Christmas cookie recipes. If you want to make alot of gingerbread, and larger ones than you see that I made, you will need at least 3 containers of cinnamon. But what is nice is you can buy it at the Dollar Tree. You can also buy your apple sauce at the Dollar Tree and don't be afraid to buy the strawberry kind if that is all they have. The dough still comes out. I let my gingerbread dry naturally rather than the oven. After they dry, you can always sprinkle them with more cinnamon. Ideas to do with the gingerbread or other shaped ornaments: Make a garland Make ornaments for the tree Make ornaments for your wreaths Put into home-made potpourri Put into a wooden bowl with some greens Put into a nice pewter or silver bowl with greens Make large ginger bread and line up on your mantle Put on a gift with a bow Place them in your bathroom in a decorative container to add a pleasant smell Don't eat them!

Shabby Chic Folk Art Christmas Trees

Well I really did it this time. I wanted to do something different with the little inexpensive Christmas trees and I wanted them to look like folk art. After browsing many recipes to find out what I would like to do, I made the darkest coffee recipe I could with instant coffee and hot water. The tree soaked up the color alot as you can see. I mixed the coffee with cinammon, vanilla and nutmeg. I rubbed that on the tree too. Don't go crazy like I did if you don't want them as dark. Then the combo of putting the tree in a vintage bottle with white snow and a white candle on top with the silver garland brought it from the folk period to the shabby period. I want to try cool aid also, and time is running out with all the things I have to make. I also love just spraying the trees with glue, and then adding glitter. I may make some of those for my mom's gift.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Shabby Chic Paint Job

You know, painting a piece of furniture may not be as hard as you think. I love different types of decorating like folk art which is alot of black, burgundy, cream, dark green and grunge. There is the beach/ocean theme with star fish, navy blue, aqua, mint green, white, fisherman's net, sea shells and glass, chipped painted shutters. There is the garden theme with metal table and chairs (bistro type) geraniums, terra cotta flower pots. Industrial Chic-so cool, railroad type coffee table with sheels to move it around, large posters of names of cities, metal covers for overhead lights. Then there is shabby chic; white, pink, light yellow, mint green, aqua or baby blue/robins egg blue, cream, chipped everything, lace banged up furniture or furniture with loose covers, pillows made of burlap, fur, mantles with all kinds of decorations including deer head the big thing that is in. Shabby Chic is kind of country and there are mahy kinds of country that I have learned about like French, Swedish, Italian... Ecclectic which is a bit of everything, different colors like reds, yellows, oranges, crochet and knitted items, stuffed little animals, paper cut out items, rugs that don't match the mismatch chair. The ecclectic look reminds me of the 1970's with the wild patterns and the olive, orange, and gold colors. If yo ulook at Tupperware containers, you will see how style has changed by the colors and shape of the Tupperware. Oh yea, and there is Retro: the metal table and chairs, black and white square tiled floor, maybe a pink round cornered fridgerator, owls for decorations, gold lamps with huge lamp shades... Well, I have enjoyed the shabby chiclook for quite awhile. And while I am ecclectic which alot of people declare me to be, I am a bit Industrial with my metal covered light in the kitchen and huge antique wooden sign hangingin my living room, folk art by some of the American Folk Art I have painted, ocean themed with vintage sailor statues and boat and ocean art work hanging, and French country with my huge wall unit for my tv that is painted a greenish grey with brown and hand-painted design, but oh my I love "shabby chic". A few years ago, I admired a hutch in a store. The lady made all of her furniture. It was either painted bright colors or light colors. She made furniture out of other furniture pieces; crib rails to make a bench. She was willing to trade with me her hutch for a sideboard. I was in my glory. A white flat painted hutch with a robins egg blue on accents of the hutch. I love cream and white and robins egg blue, and with a border up in my dining room of nests, eggs and feathers, with alot of cream and off white accents of crochet doilies and a pastel yellow desk, I decided I was going to shabby chic up the hutch. How, well, a little bit of paint here and there, another color of paint here and there, and rubbingit in with my brush and fingers. I didn't have to worry about over doing it because most shabby chic furniture is layers and layers of paint, chipped and banged up. So I just went to town with an umber mixed with glaze, these were my art paints I use all of the time in my collages. I didn't go out and buy anything. I used a cream color Americana bottle of paint. And just rubbed one color into the other, left some color showing more in certain spots and left it that way on purpose. I have not yet added any wax to the wood to preserve it more. After I do a project, I like to keep it that way to see if I really like it, if I want to change it and if I don't have the money to buy an item, it will just have to wait. My shabby chic pedestle table in the kitchen is like that. I know it would be good to put the wax on the table to purposely protect it from water and food. I can always sand it in the spots it gets stained and then add a bit of paint if need be and then the wax. So here are some photo samples of the hutch.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Cookies

I have made I think 14 types of Christmas cookies this year. I have two more to go and a ton more I would love to make that I thought I would have the time. These are capaccino flats which are a favorite of my family. They have instant coffee in them. The others are a sugar/butter cookie from my daughter in laws parents whose dad was a baker. So the recipe and frosting are from them. I was excited to create a cookie that her dad made for years. I will post the others as I get more pictures. This year I did things a bit different. Usually I will make a recipe, let the cookies cool and then frost them. This year, I just kept making them, and frosted them with all their fabulous types of frostings and drizzles today. One frosting was cream cheese, butter, milk and lemon juice. Another was melted semi sweet chocolate chips and a bit of crisco. Another was confectioners sugar, milk, and almond extract. Tomorrow I will do my peanut butter balls and then I will have made: apricot chews, potatoe chip cookies, a pepper German cookie, a lemon cookie with lemon cream cheese frosting, apricot jam twists, boysenberry pastries, toffee and cranberry cookies, soft mollasses, chocolate macadamian, and I just know I am missing a couple of others. Oh well, next time!