Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Deck the Halls Part I

Well, Christmas is on its way, and now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I have begun to prepare my home for the season. A few years ago I started collecting the Willow Tree Nativity set. This year, as an early birthday gift, Mama Mayhem gave me the final pieces to my set, so naturally it was the first thing I wanted to set out.

The table I have is a bit too small for such an elaborate set, but I work with what I've got. It took me a while to get them all positioned the way I wanted them. I love the beauty and simplicity of the set.

The new pieces that were added this year are the wise men and the stable animals.

What about you? Any new Christmas decorations you are excited about? Have you started to Deck the Halls?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Felt Roses

I have been seeing a lot of cute wreaths made out of felt roses on pinterest. They are very easy to make, so I thought I would post a little how-to.
First cut a circle of felt. I used a ribbon spool as a template, but you can use anything round: a cup, plate, old CD, ect. depending on the size you want your rose.

Once you have the circle cut, cut a spiral starting at the outside of the circle and continuing to the center.
Then, starting at the outside, roll the felt keeping the spiral cut line lined up.

When you are finished you will have a nice flat bottom and a flap that you can hot glue to the bottom to keep everything secure.

Once it is hot glued together you can use your rose for any type of decorating or crafting. I made mine into a wreath for the dinning room shelf.
Here's a close up.

I used different sized templates to make the roses different sizes. I still don't feel like the wreath looks finished, but I'm not sure what to add...Any ideas? I've toyed with the idea of adding more roses or spray painting the grapevine wreath.

Aussie Outline

G'day Mates! In preparation for Mama Mayhem's birthday, I have created her a small gift...shhh don't tell. Earlier this year I was inspired to make a country outline of the Czech Republic to display in my house to remind me of the weeks Mr. Mayhem and I spent there teaching at an English and sports camp.

You can also see our model of the cathedral in Brno and Mr. Mayhem's Czech beer mug. (the vases have no connection to the Czech Republic)
Mama Mayhem has more a place in her heart for Australia having lived there for a year. So I decided it would be a charming reminder for her of her days spent down under to do an Australian outline.

The supplies I used + some tape I forgot to put in the picture.
Step one: Print off an outline picture of the country in the size you want. I printed two sizes and then picked the one I liked best. The canvas I used is 6x6".

Tape the outline to some contact paper and start cutting.

When you cut off the tape just use more to secure it and keep the paper and contact paper lined up.
Carefully position the contact paper on the canvas. At this point many people would measure, but I am more of an eyeballer so I just put it where it looked right.
Press the edges down to seal.
Paint carefully over the contact paper. I chose Mama Mayhem's favorite shade of blue.

At this point I would like to mention that in the Czech Republic version above I used spray paint and it was much more successful. This worked, but if you can, I would use spray paint.
Second coat.
 When the paint is dry carefully pull away the contact paper to reveal your beautiful design!
Tazmania was a little messed up from paint seeping under, but I fixed it with a bit of white paint and ended up with this finished product!

Happy crafting,

**Sorry the pictures are so dark; my craft room is in the dungeon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Grandma's Buttermilk Cornbread

      The weather is quite chilly here which puts me in the mood for some comfort food. High on the list for me is soup. Tonight I made a huge (hubby said it could feed the neighborhood) pot of chili. I know some people like cinnamon rolls or PB&J with chili, but for me the only complement to a spicy bowl of chili is cornbread! I've tried several recipes and this one is hands down the best.

      This recipe makes a 9"x 13" pan, but can be halved the fill an 8"x8" pan.
You will need:
  • 1 C Butter
  • 1 1/3 C Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 C Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 C Cornmeal
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1 Tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 375°.  Melt butter in a large skillet.
Remove from the heat and mix in the sugar and eggs.

 Stir until well blended. Then mix the baking soda with the butter milk and add to the skillet.

 Stir until well incorporated.

 Add corn meal, flour and salt. Mix until there are few lumps left.
Pour into a greased pan and bake for 30-40 min.
Enjoy with a piping hot bowl of chili. I like to put a little butter and honey on mine.

Click here for a Printable Recipe Card