Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Brunch Gifts ..........

............Following yesterday's post is this one showing the "gifts" part of my Gifts From the Kitchen brunch.........

After enjoying the brunch food and visiting a bit, we gather in the sitting area (my furniture is really not that orange) to do the "presenting of our gifts". For those that haven't heard it before, I ask each to bring a container with something from their kitchen for each participant - one for each, all alike.
First up is Sarah.
Sarah brought cookies in a cute snowman pitcher. She brought a bonus gift - a Christmas novel. Now you know were I got the candy cane hanging from my pantry doorknob with green ribbon.

Catherine brought a nice gingerbread house box.
She always supplies the recipe. And, besides her pumpkin bread, she had some extras in the house.
Each one usually has a "story" to tell. Deborah was funny with hers: " I found this tacky green bowl and a got this tacky orange cookie cutter and then decided to make white trash for the food"!

Her presentation was negative but the bowl is not tacky, I love the shape and size, her cookie cutter is cute and her white trash was good.

My daughter-in-law MaryRose was "thinking big" and chose a cute snowman pedestal bowl.

She put two bags of chocolate doughnut holes inside.

The bird on Lynda's shirt looks like it is sitting on her bag of pretty meringue cookies.

She also didn't stop with a container of food. She put several things in the beautiful "book".  There was a pretty red dish, a little bag of Christmas tea bags and the cutest little girl figurine.

My daughter Carrie chose a cloth lined wire basket for her container. She did candy coated oreos for her food - yummy and pretty.
She included a cutout word in each. We got "merry" or "believe".
This is me. I found these bail jars sold in a box of three. I needed to get three boxes and that meant I would get to keep two. I also made "white trash" but mine and Deborah's recipes were different ones.
I like the twisted, bright silver bail these have. But, I was not happy with just the plain jar.  I was already working on making napkin rings with the "jewel" decorated burlap (by the yard, H.L) so I thought it would be just the thing to dress them up and can be easily removed.  I also got the tree ornament trim there too. To prevent the trimmings from being too costly, I bought enough ornaments to divide in half to dangle. Everything from HL was on sale but I never dreamed it would take so many yards of ribbon. And, would be embarrassed to say how many trips I went back for more! I loved it, though!
I think I am now finished showing Christmas pictures!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Gifts From the Kitchen Brunch......

My annual  Gifts From the Kitchen Brunch took place on December 7th......

I always try to get as much as possible done ahead of time. The table was set the night before. I used some new silver chargers (a Thanksgiving night bargin from Michaels) which dressed it up nice. A lot of good things take place at night but, picture taking is not among them. At least not my picture taking.

I am so glad I took this picture of the centerpiece the night before, the lights weren't working the next morning and I didn't have have the presence of mind that morning to change the batteries!


I had no plans to have new napkins until I saw the plaid fabric at Hobby Lobby. I was already working on the burlap and sparkles napkin rings. I like the look of rustic and glitzy together.


The "hit" of the table, however,  seemed to be the little bottles and straws.

At the last minute they were filled with "Baptist Champagne" which is white grape juice and ginger ale. I like to use a little more ginger ale than juice.

I already had the jingle bell rubber stamp, so it was easy to make the little cards to hang on the straw. I enjoyed drinking eight mocha cappuccinos to have the bottles to use!  

These ladies arrived early to help me do the last minute things. This year it was Lynda and Deborah.
It is just about starting time and everything is ready except the biscuits.

The food is all on the buffet except there is the empty biscuit server! The crockpot looked better before I removed the cloth to be able to take the lid off and forgot to pull it back up.

And, on this buffet the mocha punch on one end and tea things on the other.
Come on biscuits!!! We are hungry!
Finally, there they are. Another hit of the brunch was a new recipe I tried - a crockpot breakfast dish. It is definitely a keeper.

We all gathered round, except for my daughter who took the picture.
We got a good group picture except for some glasses reflection. I have shown the food and decorations of the party and next post I will show the "gifts" part.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

After Christmas and all Through the House........

                                .....Not a creature was stirring, not even me!

I had to take today "off" and enjoyed some rest and Snickerdoodle milk.

Before I start packing up and putting away all the decorations, I still want to show a few more. Every room in the house has at least a few Christmas decorations. This is the little guest bedroom.  The white streaks on the red throw is the white bedspread showing through the fringe.

On the bed, in front of the pillows, a plain wreath and a metal stocking gives the bed a festive look.

If you were following the blog last year, and the year before that, you saw a similar look to this one on the dresser.

The white yarn trees are added to the old open suitcase and a spray of berries with a red bow helps to say Merry Christmas.



The "lady" is now wearing her necklace just in case some guests arrive. Someone needs to help me come up with a good name for "lady".

Six chairs at the dining room table have one of these white wire balls hanging in the back. This one is a good finishing touch to this little vignette on the table top.

A delicate wire holly garland on the clock is the little extra here.

A cream and white stocking hangs on the entrance door.

And nearby, at the end of the dresser is this Santa basket holding holiday magazines.  I have a hard time getting rid of holiday magazines. Some of them are timeless anyhow and I bring them out every year and decorate with them and look through several.
Just outside, across the hall, is the linen closet door with a Mickey ornament.

Now, in my bedroom the bed got two extra red pillows and a wreath on the wall.

I have several little touches in both bathrooms but this is a good stopping place for this post.
If I can get it done in the next week, I will post my dining room table settings for two brunches. I promise - no more Christmas stuff after New Years day! I have loads of garden pictures to start showing!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Out Front.............

..........I don't do lights outside but, I have a few things out there that say Merry Christmas. At least in the daylight hours..........

This year it starts down at the street with the mailbox. I have had two rolls of this ribbon for several years and finally came up with a way to put it to use. It is a good, wired, and sturdy ribbon that has been rained on and I can't see any change in it. Just a small touch but, it is very noticeable.


It was overcast when the first two pictures were made and sunny in this one. The first ones are the right color.
Over on the corner in my little park-like area, three big balls hang from the arbor top, making a nice statement.

A new small flag here this year was a gift.
Moving on up near the front door.
I nestled two poinsettias in among the plants at the corner. You can see just one of them in this picture.
Early one morning I saw this shadow on the house wall just above the poinsettias. A big deer!!! And, what a rack of antlers!!!
What a let down to realize it was coming from the reflection of this glittery golden basket!  I liked the shadow better than the basket. The basket could look better with something different in it. Maybe I will work on that before Christmas day.  Can you believe! That is just four days away!!
A few more steps up the walk hangs this wreath and bucket of balls.
This picture reminds me of how I get in too big of a "hurry" taking pictures. A little adjustment would have made it better. Close ups show everything! Yep, the seam showing in the top ball bothers me but not enough to take another picture and get it on here.
Frosty is the greeter on the opposite side of the walk. He looks a little plain in contrast to the shinny, red balls.

I like his goofy face.
Looking onto the tiny porch.

I had no intention of purchasing  a new wreath this year until I saw this one yesterday on sale for $10. It is very showy on the black door.

I am just hoping something doesn't chew on the berries! That happens here. I am not sure if it is chameleons or bugs or what.

Above the bench is the window box. I have had most of these outside decorations for several/many years.  I still like old, vintage looking things for Christmas and don't feel compelled to invest in a lot of new things for the outside.
All dressed up and waiting for Christmas guests. I get such neat shadow plays here in the sunny mornings.
When I was much younger we always dressed in our best on Christmas day. Does anyone still do that?  Getting new clothes, in fact, was a part of Christmas.

At first, I had the mittens hanging on the door. I love this mitten arrangement and told about them in a post three Christmases back. That first year my door was red. The picture of them hanging on the door hit pinterest that year and that blog post is my most looked at one, ever.

I like them better on the antique, Pennsylvania sled with it's vintage sleigh bells. Just makes me want to take a ride in a one horse open sleigh!!

Well, it really won't be long until all these things will be packed up and put away for another year. In the meantime, I am headed out front to rake the leaves and get them up! It's a bright, sunny day. I will enjoy seeing each thing and am so thankful for all the many blessings I have, material and otherwise!