Saturday, December 31, 2022

My Last Page for December's AJJ

Hi everyone. 
Happy last day of 2022 to you.

I'm posting today to share one more page for Jo's Snowy Winter challenge at Art Journal Journey.
Thank you Jo for being a  wonderful host  for this fun challenge. Funny, I'm not a fan of a long snowy winter but I do  enjoy making snowy winter pages.

Also I want to thank everyone who joined Jo for this month's art journaling challenge.

This page started with this wonderful snowman image.  To make my page for it, I  first decided to use some snowman tissue paper for my background. That didn't work at all. It was just too much going on once the tissue paper dried and when I placed this image on my page. Time to switch up  my original plans. I painted some white gesso  lightly over the snowman tissue paper, and if you look carefully you can still see bits of  snowmen sneaking through. 

I then used my snowflake stencil and some light molding paste to cover my background. When that dried I then took some blue ink and sprayed my page.

The frame is chipboard that I painted silver, outlined and then added some details too. I also added the scrap of blue sparkle ribbon.   Finally I added the quote above the photo (that I cut out of a piece of printed paper). The biggest problem using so much dimension on the background is that it is hard to attach things to it. Smile. 

And that's my last snowy winter page to wrap up December.

I also want to also say "Thank You" to everyone who has stopped by and supported my blog in 2022. I've appreciated all your supportive comments, and I must say, I feel lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful group of blog friends. 

Happy New Year everyone.


Friday, December 30, 2022

Hammond Castle (part 3)

 Hi everyone. Happy almost end of 2022. 

 I hope if you celebrated any of the winter holidays they were lovely. 

This past year went so fast . I wonder if it did for you also. 

For my post today I am going to share more photos from Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Massachusetts. You might remember I shared some photos in a couple of Friday posts earlier this month. If you missed the first 2 posts, and/or if you are curious, you can find them here: Part 1 and here :Part 2 .

I have lots of faces to share since I am linking up with Nicole's Friday Face Off  . I am also joining Gillena for her Friday Lunch Break.

I know it's been a bit, but you might remember in my last castle photo post we were in the wing that was filled with European treasures that Hammond had collected on various trips.

Here's the rest of those treasures in that wing.

Our tour guide told us about this not so old statue in the next photo. This is Hammond; he actually had a statue made of himself naked. The guide said he liked to put this outside along the road going by the house, and move it around a bit like you can do with Elf on the Shelf.

Whoops, here's a body with no face.

And someone is about to lose theirs. Ouch.

I even managed a face in this photo. I don't know who this man is, but he was touring the castle like we were.

I have some photos of the actual rooms in the house, and I'll share some of these next Friday on my last Hammond Castle post.

Have a great end of 2022 and happy start to 2023 to you!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

New Year's Party

 Hi everyone. Happy almost end of 2022.

Today for Rain's Art and Dinner Date the theme is New Year's Party. This is the closest I'll get to a party this year, so let me share a few New Year's art journal pages I made in the past.

And this last one is for 2022.

Here's some photos for the dinner part of Rain's link up. As some of you might have read in my T day post, we lost our power on the 23rd and didn't get it back until after lunch on the 25th. Luckily I had made some stew for my family Christmas get together on the 24th.

I could heat it up on the woodstove nicely.

I'd also made some popovers earlier also. I wrapped them in foil and heated them on top of the woodstove.

And it was just my husband and myself on Christmas, so we had a late morning big breakfast brunch.

I had picked up some of those Pillsbury Pop-N-Fresh cinnamon rolls for our family breakfast on the 24th because my daughter likes them, plus with the loss of power, I didn't think I would be able to bake homemade buns. I didn't make them that day as I had no oven. 

On Christmas Day, when it was just my husband and myself, I decided to try making them in a closed pot on top of the woodstove. I put some crinkled up foil down on the bottom of the pan so that they wouldn't burn on the direct heat of the woodstove, and I left the top of the pan on so it would heat up more like an oven. And it worked. They didn't quite brown they way they would in an oven, but they did cook. Although they're definitely not as good as homemade or fresh bakery rolls, they did add a bit of sweet to our breakfast.

That's all for me today. 
I want to wish everyone a happy end of 2022 and a great start to 2023 also.
Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Wednesday Art

Hi everyone. It's been cold here in New Hampshire (as well as many other places too). We had hoped for a white Christmas, and after our big dump of snow on the 17th, we really thought we would have one. Instead we warmed up and had so much rain (and wind) on the 23rd, our white Christmas was really just a light dusting from the end of that storm when the temperatures plummeted. But I guess that counts as white.

It is starting to warm up a bit outside after some bitter cold over the past holiday weekend. Hurrah for that, although it is going to get quite warm for us  at the end of the week so we may start the New Year with some spring mud.

December is starting to wind down, and it will be 2023 before we know it. I know I said this last year, but  let me write it once again, where did the year go?

Today I want to share another page for Jo's Snowy Winter challenge over at Art Journal Journey.  You still have a a few days to join in this challenge with your snowy winter art journal pages.

This first view is how it looks when I lighten it up.

And this next view is how my camera caught it.  In reality,  my page is not as blue as the first view and not as grey as this view. I must say I like both views.

I inked my background paper and then layered some paper and also part of a sheet of printed acetate. I did do a bit of stitching which is a little hard to see unless you look for it. White thread wasn't the best color to use. The quote was already on the paper, and I decided to use it instead of adding a different one.  I did add a painted snowflake though.

And for those of you who join us at Try It On Tuesday
right now our annual spotlight is going on, so stop by to see if you made the spotlight. 

I hope you're having a wonderful week between holiday weekends. Thanks for stopping by my blog also. 


Monday, December 26, 2022

T Stands for Dinner by Lantern Light

 Hi everyone.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, if you celebrate any of these holidays. And this is already our last T Day for 2022. It's time to share your drinks and maybe chat a bit about life.

The horrible storm that blasted across the US hit us on Friday the 23rd. We had strong winds which knocked out our power on the morning of the 23rd and it stayed out until afternoon on Christmas Day. I know none of them will probably see my blog, but thanks to the power crews who worked through the holiday weekend to restore so many outages.  I hope everyone who was out of power has it back.

And then it got cold. For us a low of 10 degrees (-12 degrees C) with  an added wind chill seems to happen at least once every winter, but it's still very cold. I know many of you  had even colder temperatures or even lots of snow, so I hope everyone is keeping warm and safe until temperatures return to normal.

When the power went out my husband hooked up the generator so we could have water (as we get ours through  a well on our property), some of our lights,  the refrigerator, and the TV. However, our generator isn't powerful enough to run the stove, dishwasher and microwave, so on the 24th, when we had our family Christmas  celebration, we did some cooking on the woodstove.

For breakfast we had bacon, pancakes and French toast. In the above photo is my husband as I put him in charge of the bacon.

And the lack of power didn't stop us from having breakfast mimosas. Here's my link to this week's T day over at Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog.

And our Christmas dinner was by lantern light. The table isn't exactly beautifully laid out, but it was the best it was going to be. You can also see the leftover Prosecco from breakfast as well as a bottle of red wine we had with dinner for more drink related items for T.

Luckily I had some foresight and made a beef stew the previous Thursday night when we had power, as well as a batch of popovers. The stew heated well on the woodstove, as did the popovers, so we had a  nice meal with some lantern light. Even though we can run lights with our generator, for some reason the  light over the  table didn't work well on generator power, and the bulbs kept flashing. That meant  lanterns it would be, and they worked well.

We had a very nice holiday though. It was just my husband and myself on Christmas, and luckily the power came back on after our woodstove cooked brunch. I was able to use the oven and stove top to make us a  little Christmas dinner. We also watched the first 4 Die Hard movies in our movie marathon and had a relaxing low key weekend. 

And look at what my son-in-law made me for Christmas. It's a beautiful wood sign for my bees.

 Back in the' autumn we'd been discussing names about what I should call my bees, and I'd suggested Two Pups. He did a fantastic job catching the likeness of my 2 dogs on the sign.

He even put a hook on the back of my new sign so I can hang it on my screen porch come spring when we open it back up.

 I also wanted to share some fun cards I have received for the holiday from some blogger friends. I know there's been some mail issues because I've been told there 's another card in the mail somewhere in the process of crossing the pond. Hopefully it will be here soon, but I know the spirit of the card has reached me even if the card has not yet gotten here. Thanks in advance Elle.
And also thanks to Valerie for the very lovely digital card.

This beautiful candle photograph on this first card is from the Carola.

And Jeanie at the Marmalade Gypsy sent this fun Santa gnome.

And last but definitely not least is this fabulous fun holiday tree from our hostess Elizabeth. And Bleubeard too of course.

Thank you all for your lovely  holiday mail. It is always appreciated. 
As also thanks for all the wonderful holiday wishes I receive digitally. 

That's all for me this week. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe T day and the rest of 2022 also.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

A Christmas Card to Everyone

Just a short post sending you wonderful wishes on this Christmas Day. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa  as well as Boxing Day tomorrow.


Thursday, December 22, 2022

Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday

Hi everyone. This is my last post for a few days since tomorrow (the 23rd) I need to get a lot of things finished. That is as long as the heavy winds during the big storm that arrives  tonight don't knock out our power. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't happen. (And luckily we're going to have a short warm up so it will be rain coming in rather than snow, but like the temperatures so many of you are getting, the  bitter cold is coming in right after the storm.)

My daughter is coming tomorrow night, my son-in-law is coming first thing Saturday morning, and Saturday will be our family Christmas. It's a little weird  to celebrate on the 24th since we've always celebrated on the 25th, but now that my daughter is married, we need to be a bit more flexible.  The hubby and I plan a Die Hard movie marathon on the 25th, and we'll be making a nice holiday dinner for just the 2 of us.

I have an art journal page for today which I am linking up to a whole bunch of challenges.
First of all, my page today is for Rain's  Thursday Art and Dinner Date, where the theme is a Christmas scene. As I'm not posting anything new tomorrow, this is also for Nicole's Friday Face Off and I'm also linking up to Gillena's Friday Lunch Break. 
And last but never least, I added some snowflakes and I am linking up to Jo's Snowy Winter challenge at Art Journal Journey

The Santa was on the cover of a Vermont Country Store catalogue I received in the mail. I used my printer/copier to copy him onto  heavier paper, and then I fussy cut him out. I used some spray paint and a stencil to make the background. Santa made me think of children, and even though these 2 vintage cuties look like they are a little afraid of Santa, I added them and made a pile of snow for them to stand on. Perhaps  once Christmas comes and they get a few new toys, they'll  smile. 

I die cut the snowflakes and added them so my page also would work for Jo's challenge at Art Journal Journey.

And I have been doing some baking. Last week I made this Scandinavian advent bread from a cookbook I borrowed.

It's made with some butter and milk, as well as white and spelt flour. It actually called for some whole wheat flour, but since I didn't have any on hand I substituted the white. The topping is a maple glaze which was easy and tastes amazing. My maple syrup is on the browner side (the maple sap gets browner as the season goes on) and comes from my son-in-law's family syrup house. His parents gave us a few quarts of fresh maple syrup as I'm not fussy about the color.

I soaked the dried fruit in some vanilla vodka first rather than the sherry the recipe called for. This bread is really moist and delicious. I may have to see if I can find a copy of this cookbook since this bread is so good I want to make it again. Plus there are several other recipes I'd like to try.

I've also been on a cooking baking binge. I know I showed this photo for T this week, but here it is again.

Last Sunday I made a bunch of cookie doughs, and then earlier this week I spent an afternoon making  cookies from the doughs.

From top to bottom in this photo (above) are spritz, festive pecan sandies that I forgot to put the pecans on top, hazelnut balls, sugar cookies and some lime icebox cookies.

I also made some gingerbread dough, but for some reason it just crumbled, and I couldn't roll it out for the cookie cutters. I might have to make that one again because it's my daughter's cookie of choice. 

I really would like to also make some gingerbread (in cake form), but I'm not sure if that will happen or not. If I feel like it maybe on Christmas I'll whip one up in the morning.

(FYI: I'm writing this part Friday morning. We have severe winds right now, some of them over 50 mph, so if I don't get to your blog it's because I've lost power. So far it's hanging on, but it has blinked a couple of times. Keeping my fingers crossed it stays on. I just want to apologize in advance. )

And let me end this post by wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season, whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanza. 


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Candle Holders and Winter Holidays

Hi everyone. 

Before I forget to mention it, I want to say thank you to those of you who helped me answer my question the other day about the candle holder. It's really lovely, and I think I like it better as it celebrates another religion. I do think it is a menorah, just not one for Hanukkah. I didn't know there were different types of menorahs. I read quite a bit about it yesterday after reading some comments, and the story behind the 7 branch menorah is lovely. I also learned that Kwanzaa  also has a similar candle holder. That was new to me also. It's only too bad my Mom isn't here to find out this information as she was always curious about the candle holder also. Smile.

I looked up photos online after seeing some for both holidays, and   I  found a very similar candle holder/menorah on an internet search. On Amazon of all places. Not exactly the same along the bottom, but very similar for certain.

And why I didn't do an internet search earlier, I'm not sure. 😣 My limited knowledge of many religions I guess. I do have some far back Jewish ancestors on my mother's side of the family according to our DNA tests, so perhaps that is why my great aunt received it from her husband's family in Sweden. It is a beautiful piece, and I'm glad I have it to put out over the holidays. I could leave it out also. 

Thanks again to everyone for your help.

 Next let me say Happy Winter Solstice! Or if you live south of the equator, happy summer solstice. My page today celebrates winter, so it may not work for anyone who is having summer.

 Tomorrow the days will start getting longer. Smile. I realize it does take awhile before it's even noticeable. 

Today my art journal page is for Jo's challenge at Art Journal Journey. Her challenge this month is Snowy Winter, and you probably already know that.

I started with a piece of black cardstock that I stenciled with some white paint. Then I added these 3 giant snowflakes. I found a package of them last winter at Hobby Lobby in their holiday markdowns for like 60 cents. Since they are light cardboard, I thought they might be useful. As you can see I added 3 to my page.

My background still didn't look complete so I used some sparkly blue spray ink to pull it all together. Then I added the cloth snowflake trim, the felt deer, the gold paper moon and the fox image that I cut off of a sheet of paper. Finally I added some tiny blue foamy snowflakes and the short but appropriate quote.

And lastly for today, I have a winter holiday tag for Michele's challenge at Tag Tuesday.

I found a piece of paper with a very traditional and large Santa face. I was first going to put him on a red painted tag, but then I found the small piece of music on some paper, so I thought that would work great with Santa. We all know the reindeer and his sleigh jingles as he flies along. I added some felt trim, some green (although it looks blue) metallic paper trim and also the metallic paper bells that I added some paint to.

My post today has became a little bit long again so let me stop here and  wish everyone a great middle of the week.

Monday, December 19, 2022

T Stands for the Holiday Edition

 Hi everyone. Happy T day. It's hard to believe it is not only already Tuesday, but it is less than a week until Christmas.

Although I still have some things I need to do, the house is decorated (but a messy disaster zone) and my presents are wrapped (and all over my daughter's bed). Today I thought I'd share some of my decorations because I feel like being festive. Grab a cup of tea or coffee because (sorry) this is a rather long post.

This first photo is my link to T day this week over at  Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog. I know it would have been better if one of my cups was full of tea. Smile. Too bad I never remember to take photos when I make one each late afternoon. 😟

I didn't decorate quite to the extent I usually do, but I did put out the things I love. I usually put away the old clock  that is in the middle of my photo. It doesn't run because there is no plug on my mantel, and also the wiring in it is from the 1930's and a little scary. One of these days I want to get this clock changed over to batteries so we can use it. It originally belonged to my husband's grandparents.

I do love my Swedish tomte though. These 2 big ones I found by chance and bought years ago, but most of mine are ones that family members gifted me. 

Here's a few more of my Swedish tomte and one of my collection of dalarna horses.  

I have more of these Swedish gnomes on my living room bookshelf because I really have a lot of these.

The tree is also decorated. (Ignore the grassy looking plant on the right-it's my lemon grass plant which is put in the window to get more light.) We chopped this tree at the Christmas tree farm in our town Thanksgiving weekend.

My tree is all about nostalgia. The decorations are a hodgepodge of items from over the years.

See that sad looking pipe cleaner and bead man with the styrofoam ball head in this last photo? It's beady- man. He's so old.  I made him when I was in kindergarten or nursery school.He always gets a spot right in the front of the tree because he is special to me. And right behind him you can just see the baby bottle that we bought and filled out the year my daughter was born.

And on the opposite side of the tree, next to the Dr. Who dalek is a lovely mini-quilt our T day hostess Elizabeth made several years back. I hang it on the tree every year also because that is what my Christmas tree is all about, lots of nostalgia.

My mother-in-law used to gift me a santa every year for Christmas back in the 1990's, and then when my daughter was older, she wanted to gift them to me also. I have quite a collection, and I can only put out so many each year. Here's a little peak at them. And do you like my retro tree? I bought it at Costco this past fall because it reminded me of my grandmother who used to have one back when I was a kid.

Speaking of my grandmother, these very vintage musician angels were part of a decoration she had. There used to be a lighted church with them, but I'm not sure what happened to it. One thing I love about these angels is that the Made in West Germany-US zone stamp is still on their bottoms. That definitely dates them.

The 2 little singers in the front are not from her set, but something I added to them.

And does anyone know anything about this candle holder?

It doesn't have enough candle spots to be a Menorah. My great aunt had it and then my mom did. I also know it came from Sweden. It's always been a mystery since my mom received it whether  it is just a candle holder or has some other meaning.

And finally, here's my other tree. I call this my winter tree. I put it up mid-November, and I take it down late in January. This part of the diningroom-kitchen is dark, and having the tree here adds lots of light. All of the decorations don't have a Christmas theme but more of a winter  or woodland theme.

I have a few holiday Annelee animals (the Annelee factory shop is like 40 minutes away from me). This year I wasn't inspired to find a place for them  so I just put them under my winter tree. They'll get put away with my holiday decorations, and I won't leave them up as long as I keep up the tree.

I do have these 2 yetis from Annalee that I always put on the top tree. 

This is my newest ornament that I bought at Hobby Lobby last week when all their ornaments were 70% off. I wasn't  planning on going in, but my friend was looking for something so I went in with her. I couldn't resist the dodo bird. He goes along with the wooly mammoth I have hanging on another spot of the tree.

My kitchen is now decorated with all the supplies for cookie baking. I took this photo  Sunday afternoon when I was baking a few batches of cookies. I also made some cookie doughs that needed to be refrigerated and that I'll bake later this week.

You can even see my bottle of Diet Coke on the counter.  I guess I do have an actual drink photo for T this week.

I did clean up the kitchen a bit after all my baking, but the cookie cutters and the cookie stamps are still on the counter until i finish baking my refrigerated cookie doughs.

And I hope after reading this long post  you don't feel like Mr. Pete does.

He popped open his eyes just as I snapped this photo. (Before that he was sound asleep and snoring loudly.) What a life. I'm surprised he wasn't in the kitchen hoping for a cookie. Smile.

I also want to mention I will share all my Christmas cards next T day as I think post is long enough. 

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas has a wonderful holiday. And happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate that holiday this week also. Also, a happy winter solstice to you.

And of course, have a great T day too.