I was so thrilled to be able to join Carol @Just Let Me Quilt Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, I love decorating, making tins of cookies for family and friends.
One of our traditions is for me, with the help of my grandchildren Kyleigh and Jaeger to decorate the day after Thanksgiving. It usually takes 2 days for the decorations to be up, with their help. Last year, due to my husband's ongoing health issues and being in and out of the hospital/and rehab from October to December, I did not feel like putting my village up or the tree. I did put my nutcrackers and nativity scene up,
Granddaughter Kyleigh helped with the tree before she left to return to college in Massachusetts on Friday.
It is hard to get a good picture, the lighting in my house, especially on a rainy day is not that great.
My dear mother-in-law painted a Nativity Scene for us just after we got married 43 years ago. Our oldest daughter when she was small used to beg and beg John to put it up.
Another of my favorites are my nutcrackers which I have been collecting for years. They take up 3 surfaces.
Then I have my village. I have a lot of sea-based houses, and boats, and lighthouses, with my love of the ocean. Jaeger, our almost 16-year-old grandson helps me organize and put these up, and makes sure all the cords are hooked up under the tables. Jaeger was not available to help this year, so 13-year-old Keaton helped, and somehow, I didn't put up one of the leaves in the dining room table, and things seemed more squished than usual, but it was too late to start over.
The whole setup
My sea and part of the fishing village
Jane's Quilt Shop
I also love getting my Christmas quilts out! This first one was one of my first quilts, from 1999, quilted by none other than Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville, back in the day when she did longarm quilting for others. Bonnie has gone on to author 7 books now, does extensive traveling and teaching, and the yearly mystery quilts, and soon to have a Quiltville Inn Retreat I hope to visit one day. This quilt was called Days Past was from a book called Christmas Or Not by Gerry Kimmel, Linda Brannock and Jan Patek.
This one Plaza Trees is from a book called A Nice Mix by Gerry Kimmel.. I didn't even label this one, but I probably made it in 1996 or so and quilted it myself.
I love these angels, called Joy, and it was also in the Christmas or Not book. I hand quilted this one.
Lastly my Angel Wreath. This was a pattern by Linda Brannock, in a book called Gardening for Quilters. I made this a goal in Quarter 2 of the Finish-Along. I had finished the top in 1997, and hand-quilted on it off and on over the years, and it would get stuck in a pile or in the cabinet, and if I didn't see it, I forgot about it. I was thrilled to finish this up and be able to have it out this year. I had finished the pillow top quilting,and was able to get the pillow made.
I have other decorations to share, but this post is getting rather long. Maybe I'll share the others another day.
Another of our traditions is to make around 10 or so kinds of Christmas cookies and to hand them out to family and friends. John used to make the sugar cookies, but is no longer able to do that. So I do them all now. Two of our favorites are Fudge and Crunchy Peanut Bark, recipes my mother obtained from a friend back in the 60's. I have been making these since then.
The recipes are here:
by Karrin Hurd
Place in large bowl:
18 oz chocolate chips
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
10 oz miniature marshmallows
2 cups walnuts or pecans
2 tsp vanilla
In large pot place:
4.5 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk.
Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with butter and set aside. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. Cook 8 full minutes (I use my watch to keep track). When cooked, pour over mixture in bowl and hand beat until butter and marshmallows melt. Refrigerate and then cut into pieces.
Note, after sugar/milk mixture has cooked, need to immediately pour over the mixture in the bowl and mix thoroughly as it sets up pretty fast.
CRUNCHY PEANUT BARK
by Karrin Hurd
2 pounds white confectionary coating (sometimes called almond bark or candy coating
1 cup peanut butter (I use chunky)
3 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 cups miniature marshmallows
Place the crispy rice cereal, peanuts and marshmallows in a large bowl. Place waxed paper on countertop to drop the spoonfuls of bark to set up.
Place confectionary coating in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave at until melted, about 2-3 minutes, then mix in the peanut butter. Pour the mixture over the peanut/crispy rice/marshmallow mixture in the other bowl. Mix thoroughly and drop byspoonfuls onto waxed paper and let set up.
The whole Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop participants are below if you haven't had a chance to visit. There are some wonderful recipes, projects and traditions being shared. Many thanks again to Carol of Just Let Me Quilt for hosting this fun hop!