Monday, September 29, 2008

how to make peppermint candy ornaments

Peppermint Ornament

Learn to make professional looking candy ornaments for your Christmas tree

If you like painting, you will enjoy making these scrumptious looking peppermint ornaments.

  • 3 1/2" Paper Mache disk
  • All purpose sealer *
  • Acrylic paint - red & white
  • Pink paint - either fabric paint in a squeeze bottle or acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Thin ribbon
  • Clear cellophane

*Can be found where acrylic paints are sold

1) Paint the entire disk with all purpose sealer and let dry completely

2) Paint the whole ornament white. It may be easier to paint one side and the edges, let dry and flip it over and paint the second side. Once completely painted, let dry thoroughly.

3) Using a pencil, draw very light lines on one side of the disk as pictured below. You will be drawing six curved lines.

Divide your peppermint ornament into 6 sections for painting

4) Once the lines are drawn on one side of the disk, continue them onto the side of the ornament. Then, draw the same lines onto the back but be sure they line up with the lines on the side.

5) You now have six sections on each side of the disk. On one side of the disk, paint every other section red. You will have a pattern of alternating red and white sections. Let dry completely then continue the paint onto the corresponding side sections and then onto the other side of the disk. Once dry, apply another coat of paint if necessary then let dry completely.

6) Paint white dots on the red sections. An easy way to do this is to dip the end (not the bristle end) of a paint brush into white paint then touch it to where you want the dot. Reload the paint after every one or two dots. Paint a big white dot in the center of the peppermint where the swirls come together. Paint squiggly pink lines down the center of the white sections. Let both sides dry completely before continuing.

7) Cut a 9" square of cellophane and wrap it around your peppermint cutting a small hole and threading the hanging string through the hole. Gather the extra cellophane on both sides of the peppermint and tie each side with an 8" piece of thin ribbon as pictured.

Learn to paint peppermint candy Christmas ornaments

Our green peppermint was made slightly different than the red and white one. I made four sections each of green and white instead of three each. While the green paint was still wet I sprinkled Glamour Dust (a very fine glitter) on it then made a big red dot in the middle of the ornament and little red dots on the white and finally tied the cellophane with gold ribbon.

elf ornaments

[Here are a couple of craft projects mined off of the net. Above is a cute ornament I found a picture of on Flickr, I will try to come up with directions on how to make it when time permits!! There should be links back to the original sites on all the photos, if not please let me know because I believe in giving props to those who have created all the little lovelies I find!!]

Activa Elf Ornament This little guy will add a touch of holiday whimsy to your tree. Designed by Jill MacKay

Activa Elf Ornament This little guy will add a touch of holiday whimsy to your tree. Designed by Jill MacKay

4” Roll of Rigid Wrap®

3 “ Styrofoam Egg

Red Glitter

Red Pom-Pom

Acrylic Paint: Red, Green, Peach and Black

Piece of Craft Cord- 6”



Container for Water

Plastic to Cover Workspace


Cut several strips of Rigid Wrap® (RW) of various sizes ranging from

½” to 1 ½”, Cut one 8” long strip.

Make a loop with the cord and have the cord ends facing each other,

lying next to each other. Using smaller pieces of RW to secure the ends

of cord to top of egg. Then continue on and cover the entire egg with a

layer RW. For hat band, cut the 8” piece of RW in half length-wise.

Next fold the piece in half length-wise, dip in water and place around

head (egg) and smooth. For ears and nose scrunch up a wet piece of

RW and shape with finger tips, press in place, and smooth.

Hang to dry.

Paint head and face while holding hat, let dry.

Paint hat while holding face, let dry.

Trim hat band with glue and glitter let dry.

While hanging glue pom-pom to top of hat.

Let dry

Tip: Make a place to hang your ornament at your workspace,

so it can hang to dry in-between the different steps

Felt Elf Christmas Ornament

Red Felt; 4″ x 7″ piece

Green Felt; 4 1/2″ x 2″ piece

Flesh colored felt: 3 1/2″ x 9″ piece

One 10mm bell

One 5mm pink pom-pom

Two black glass E beads

Tacky glue

Small amount Polyester Fiberfill (stuffing)

8″ piece of elastic thread or crochet thread

Powdered blush

Ultra fine tip black permanent marker

Needle & thread

optional: sewing machine and gold glitter glue

or fabric paint in a squeeze bottle

Trace and cut out two hat pieces from red felt.

Trace and cut out one collar piece from green felt and

trace and cut out two heads from flesh colored felt.

Pin the two head pieces together and sew around the

face close to the edge leaving the top section opened.

Topstitch around the ears.

Stuff the head with Polyester Fiberfil (stuffing).

Only the face will be stuffed - the ears will not get stuffed.

Then, sew the opening at the top of the head closed. Set aside.

Pin the two hat sections together and stitch the two sides

close to the edge leaving the bottom edge opened.

Right side out the hat and place it on top of the elf’s head.

Stitch in place.

Fold down the top of the hat as pictured and tack

in place with a couple of stitches on the back side of the ornament.

Sew a bell to the tip of the hat.

Hand-stitch the collar to the lower portion of the head.

Brush powdered blush on the cheeks of the elf.

Sew the two black beads on for eyes. Glue the pink

pom-pom on as the nose and using the permanent marker,

draw a mouth.

Thread a piece of elastic thread or crochet thread

through the back of the elf’s hat using a needle with

an eye large enough to pass the thread through.

Remove the needle and tie the ends in an overhand knot.

This will be your ornament’s hanger.

Optional: Personalize your ornament by writing the recipients

name on the collar using the glitter glue or fabric paint in a squeeze bottle.

A great idea from Elf Shoe

[this craft was designed by valita's designs & fresh folds. Very talented lady, check out her blog for more ideas and inspiration!]

Elf Shoes

Elf Shoe Instruction Sheet
Elf Shoe Pattern

Monday, September 22, 2008

How to Make an Elf Tree Skirt

[mined the net again, here's directions for making an elf tree skirt from archives and a 1969 magazine!]

Pixie Elf Tree Skirt

Poopscape here and I’m feelin’ all festivey and stuff. For this project, I referred back to my pile of old Pack O Fun magazines for craft inspiration. This time my eye was caught by the pixie-elf tree skirt project in the centerfold of the December 1969 issue. Second choice: That scary, tray-carrying Santa on the cover. Maybe next year.

Why does a tree need a skirt? Well, without one you’re stuck looking at the tree stand which, let’s face it, is more functional than decorative and needs covering up. For years I used an old bedsheet as a tree skirt (you can see a bit of it in the image below), which I would fluff up to look like a snow drift, and not a very convincing one at that. When I saw the tree skirt with its happy little foursome of elves with bad haircuts, I knew the sheet had had its day.

The pattern for the tree skirt was a mere 36″ wide- and that’s just not big enough- so I made the skirt almost twice as big because my tree is a monster (which also meant that I needed to make a few more elves to fill the space). I used glittery chartreuse felt for the skirt, magenta felt for the elves’ hats and collars, cream felt for the fleshy bits, and black for their hair.

I could have gone with more traditional Christmas colors I guess, but I had to create my own perverse take on green and red. I hotglued silver rickrack to the elves’ costumes, white rickrack around the edges of the tree skirt and white pom poms on the tips of their pointy hats. It looked way too unfinished without all that stuff on it. The rickrack totally makes it.

The verdict? Much, much better than that pathetic white sheet. Merry Christmas, Swapatori!

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Lyrics

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Alton Brown's Eggnog Recipe

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005
Show: Good Eats
Episode: School of Hard Nogs

[I love Alton Brown! We no longer get cable and I miss watching 'Good Eats'.

I haven't tried this yet, I've been meaning to, it's just so much darn easier running to the supermarket!!]

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites*

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

Cook’s Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.

CUTE! Festive Eggnog Cake!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Russian Teacakes(Butterballs,Mexican Wedding Cakes,et al.) Recipe

[These are probably my all time favorite cookies. The trick to these tasting scrumptious is to use REAL butter and good quality vanilla]

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.


2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Powdered sugar


Sift flour and salt together. Using electric mixer, cream butter in large bowl until light. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients in 3 batches. Mix in nuts. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.Preheat oven to 400°F. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Space 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until just firm to touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. Roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely. Roll cookies in powdered sugar again. Store in airtight container.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Lyrics

[While this particular song makes me cry every stinking time I hear it, It still is one of my favorites!]

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star
upon the highest bough.
And have yourself
A merry little Christmas now.

Written by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane, 1943

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Etsy Shops' New Christmas Wrap!

I'm so excited! I've been looking for just the right thing and this is what I decided on
(and Santa told me he would use it on all the baby's Christmas gifts until whenever!)
I love it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Christmas Blog!

While laying in bed I had the idea for a new Christmas blog. This one will remain exactly the way it is; the new blog is called "Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come-Reviving the Spirit of Christmas". I hope to examine what happened to the sense of wonder that used to surround Christmas and how we might rekindle it in our own families and communities. There used to be an electric charge in the air, people were filled with good cheer, even when out shopping. Now that is different. I worked in retail management and I've seen it first hand. There still are merry, wonderful people out at Christmastime, but they are fewer and farther between! Thus the reason for the new blog. Less warm and fuzzy on the surface but hopefully it will become a tool to help us change our world for the better and revive the true giving spirit of Christmas by changing ourselves and our place in it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Family Traditions

My little one is still too young to really get excited about Christmas, so I am planning our family traditions now while he is so young in hopes that he will acquire the sense of wonder that I had when I was young. I absolutely loved Christmas preparations, decking the halls and baking so many yummy treats. My Aunt Nancy used to make Christmas cookies. She had gingerbread men, peanut butter blossoms, butter balls(russian tea cakes) and my personal favorite, iced sugar cookies with dragees decorating them. My mother always prepared my paternal grandmother's nut roll recipe. She would make raspberry, apricot, poppy seed and traditional walnut all frosted with yummy vanilla frosting. My mom also had these white feather wreaths she hung on the living room wall, porcelain angels that would hang on the lamps and these strange lantern-like gold garlands that would drape across the windows. We always had to have an artificial tree because my mom was allergic to the real ones. My fondest decoration was the plastic, glittery candy garland that used to hang in the kitchen doorway. Oh and then there were also the little plastic elves that everyone seemed to have. We always opened one gift on Christmas eve then we would go to bed and Santa Claus would come and leave us more presents. We always woke up early to see what Santa brought and then we would go to church. As we got older we would start going to midnight mass. My maternal grandmother was born on Christmas day so she would come over every year for dinner which usually included a ham with all the fixings. My husband's family really didn't have any strong traditions, the only thing he remembers are the handmade felt ornaments his aunt use to make. Those and this odd family concoction called hamloaf!? I have the recipe, I just don't know if that is one tradition I want to encourage! :o) Over the next few months, I hope to share our traditions as well as some of my friend's and fellow Christmas lovers!(and if I can dig out the old Stamblesky nut roll recipe, I might just share that too!)