Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Home Tour

Hello and welcome to our home. Here are some pic's of our country Christmas.

This is our living room.  I just made the "Peace" sign yesterday. I still have to add a scripture verse about Jesus being the Prince of Peace in small writing at the bottom, distress it a bit and stain it. But I really like it and it's filling a void along that wall.

Closer image of the tree and St. Nick in a wagon I got from a yard sale this summer.

This is our nativity area. It's above our office desk, which is all open from the living room.  I made the star from an antique folding carpenter's ruler.

I bought this little ornament from the thrift store still in the box. I love it! It has the Christmas story passage from the bible written out.

This is in our dining room.  I have a lot of our old fashioned decorations there.

This is the old fashioned Christmas tree in the dining room.

This is the little tree in the kitchen. I decorated it with gingerbread men, candy canes and cinnamon stars.  It is actually just the top of an artificial tree. I have been cutting up the rest of the tree for crafts, but I saved the top for just this reason. I put it in a crock.

Here are some of my gingerbread decorations and a lamp I made using an old flour sifter.

This is all the kitchen decorations.  The shelf is a little bare, because I ran out of decorations.  Our house that we moved here from was smaller, so the decorations don't go as far.

This is always my favorite room of the entire house, the bathroom!

I bought the angel doll last year on clearance and I made the light.

I use most of our snowman decorations in the bathroom.  There is the snowman tree in a crock and many more snowmen here and there.
Well, that completes our tour. Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Steamed Cranberry Pudding

For the last few years I have been looking forward to a very big craft show in a near by city so that I can buy Cranberry Pudding. My friend, Lisa, showed them to me when we went together and I have bought one every year since.  When I bought it this year, I looked at the ingredients and thought, why not see if there is a recipe on the internet? The very first search result looked exactly right and when I made it, it was exactly like it! Now I can save that $20 that I spent on the pudding. The only real expense is the cranberries, but one package makes 2 puddings, so very minimal.

I found the recipe on All Recipes and you can find the original here.  I only made one change to decrease the amount of molasses a little bit. So here is my revised recipe;

2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c hot water
1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 c molasses
1 1/2 c flour
2 c fresh cranberries

In a bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the water. Add sugar and molasses, then stir in flour and cranberries.  Pour into greased bunt pan and cover with tin foil.  Place in a pot with 1" simmering water and simmer on low heat, covered, for 1 hr 10 mins - 1 1/2 hrs.

The best part about this recipe is the sauce, which calls for;

1/2 c butter or margarine
1 c sugar
1/2 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

Cook until hot and simmer for a minute or two. Serve over each piece of cranberry pudding.

This pudding is so good! I can't stop thinking about it. Thank you Jane Walker for posting your recipe on All Recipes!

This post is linked up to; My Healthy Green Family Happy and Blessed Home Living Well Spending Less

Monday, December 9, 2013

Quick, Cute Christmas Projects

I wanted to share some quick, cute Christmas crafts we have made here.

I made these ornaments with the kids a couple of years ago, but every time I pull them out, I love them! They remind me of ornaments I made with my mom as a child. We used tuna cans with both ends cut out then, but this time we used an old zinc screw canning band.  We glued some cotton on the inside bottom. Then we glued in some figurines from the dollar store.  To finish it off, we tied some ribbon around the outside and looped a string, tied in a loop with a stamped tag on it, through the ribbon to create a hanger.

I saw something like these "snow globes" on Pinterest. So, I made my own out of a salt shaker from the thrift store, some salt, a red bead cut off of bead garland and the top 2/3 of a little tree from the dollar store.  I looped some wire through the holes in the lid for a hanger and I finished it off with some homespun and pip berries.
Rebekah made these snowman tags to sell at the craft shows I rented a table at this year.  First I coffee stained some office tags.  Then she stamped "Frosty" on each one and glued buttons to look like a snowman, leaving a little space for the scarf.  Then she rubbed the edges in the ink to made them look old.  She tied thin jute through the hole for a hanger.  They turned out absolutely adorable!
Then there are the rustic cinnamon stars that I posted about here.
 Also, I made these cinnamon gingerbread men ornies that I posted about here. 
I love the creativity that just flows so freely this time of year.  Have fun crafting!
Living Well Spending Less

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Project - Snowman Sled

I put together a project I had seen on Pinterest from a store called C & C Furnishings.   It is a snowman in a wooden sled with grapevine garland, greenery, accents and lights and theirs looks like this;

So Cute
Well, I noticed we had an old wooden sled just sitting out in the snow.  And I have had some grapevine garland for so many years that I haven't used and I bought a snowman on clearance last year that I thought would be perfect. First I rolled up an 8' strand of artificial garland with lights in it and stuffed it in the curved bottom. The snowman sits on top of that and I stuck the accents into the garland.  I wrapped the excess lights around the grapevine garland. This is what mine looks like;

I'm happy with it.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bible Verse Advent

My daughter from Country God Girl is featuring a Bible Advent on her blog for the next 22 days.  It is so cool to see the Old Testament point to Jesus' coming.
Check it out if you have a chance.

This post is linked up to; A Mama's Story

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Quick Tip - Non Slip Furniture

I don't know if you have the same problem we do with furniture slipping around on our laminate floor, but  I just hated putting the couches back in place everyday. So I fixed it.

I got out my glue gun and applied a bunch of glue to the bottom of the legs.

Then I let it dry and put them in the right spot.  To move them now, I kind of pick them up a bit, because the glue really clings to the floor and they have not slid out of place once since I put the glue on. Yay!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cheap Artificial Tree Makeover

Last year I scored TONS of great deals after Christmas and these 3 trees were among them. I only paid a couple of dollars each, but I really didn't like them as they were. So, after spraying them with fake snow (that I had bought about 20 years ago and knew it was finally time to use it) and adding a bit of burlap they look........


So much better than before, don't you think?


God bless!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How I Save Money In The ... Kitchen

I just wanted to share a few simple ways that I save money in the kitchen.

  1. Reuse Ziploc bags.  I saw my dad's girlfriend wash out a Ziploc bag about 5 years ago and I thought she was completely bonkers! Sorry Leslie!  But, now I see what a great idea that actually is.  The freezer bags are so sturdy that they can be reused a number of times.  When I had meat in them, I wash them out with dish soap and very hot water. Scrubbing it nice and clean. Then I put it over top of something, like a bottle of pop, until it is dry completely.  I always make sure these bags are labeled, "meat" with a sharpie.  If I just had veggies or something, I wash it out and dry the same, but I don't label those ones.
  2. Use containers or alternate coverings instead of plastic wrap.  When we have left overs, I either put them in a storage container in the fridge, or I cover it with those kind of shower cap things you can get at the dollar store.  They come in packages of 10 and I wash them after each use to use again.  We haven't had to buy plastic wrap in years.
  3. I have already done 2 posts on how I really don't use any tin foil as well.  Instead of covering casseroles with tin foil in the oven, I put a metal baking sheet on top and I cook my baked potatoes in a covered casserole dish together, instead of individually wrapped in tin foil.
  4. Use an oil pump sprayer or spritzer instead of Pam.  My mom bought me one of these about 20 years ago and I have gone through a few since then. (Luckily, I found them on clearance for $0.44 each!)  I always use this to spray my bread pans or anything else that needs a little oil. They work by pumping the top that puts air in the canister. Then it sprays out just like Pam. They look like this one from Pampered Chef;

So there are just a few ways I save money in the kitchen. 

This post is linked up to; Living Well Spending Less

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Late Readers, No Need to Worry

It's been fun posting Christmas crafts the last little while, but now I want to get back to what's really important to me - that is my family and keeping our home.

I really wanted to share the journey we've had teaching Jacob to read.

I taught Rebekah and Ben to read using, Sing, Read, Spell and it worked great for them.  So, 2 years ago, I set out with the same plan for Jacob. The only thing was, he really wasn't getting it.  I kept it up for a few months with no success at all. So I thought I would try something else.

That's when we started using, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons".  This too was not seeming to be able to teach him. At that point I took a few month break from trying. I remembered what Raymond Moore said in his book, "Better Late Than Early".  He said that some kids just aren't ready to learn to read until they're closer to 9 years old and to push them before that would do more harm than good.  If you wait until just the right time, they will learn very easily.

Not wanting to miss "just the right time", I would try every few weeks to see if he might start catching on.  So we went back to, Sing, Read, Spell".  Still nothing. Another break. Try again. Nothing. Another Break and so on.

So now just 2 years after we started this journey, I went back to "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons".  This  time Jacob seems to be getting it. He can actually sound out the words. Such as; rock, meet, ram, this, eat....  But, he will read a word and then just 2 words later come across the same word and not recognize it at all. I'm thinking he might not be entirely ready, but I can see the hope that he WILL get it. 

I used to call Jacob a struggling reader, but I don't think that's right. Just because he didn't get it right away like his brother and sister, doesn't mean he's struggling.  He is just a late reader. He will get it and I don't want to push him.  I love that about homeschooling. He might have been over looked at a public school, or made fun of because his brain isn't quite ready to learn to read.

I think we're ready for another break. Maybe until after Christmas.  So, I'm just saying, all kids learn at different speeds and it can be frustrating to have such differences in our children, but in the end it will all work out:)

This post is linked up to; Raising Arrows Hope in Every Season Learning Table Raising Homemakers A Mama's Story

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Christmas Craft Show A Success (and a Bunch of Tutorials!)

This Christmas Craft Show is finally behind me!  I can't believe how I left making everything to the last minute, but I was able to fill my booth.  Here are some pictures;

Snowman Head Ornies, hand stitched and sewed.

Button Garland. These were a great seller. I used light weight wire and strung on two white, then one coloured button.  I didn't have as many coloured buttons on hand, so using more white stretched them out more:)

Large Homespun Candy Canes and a cabinet with chicken wire in the door.  I  had bought this cabinet from a garage sale and it had ugly fabric in the door. So I took it out and replaced it with 1/2" hole chicken wire. It sold fairly quickly, which I'm glad about, because I still have tiny scratches all over my hand from working with the chicken  wire!

Skate Wreath. Everyone loved this, but it didn't sell.

Winter Fixins.  To make these, I used little gingerbread men ornies. You can find the tutorial here. Then I added star anise, some pine cones, cloves, cinnamon sticks and rose hips.  I live in Alberta, which is known as "Wild Rose Country".  We have wild roses growing EVERYWHERE! So, the boys and I went out and picked some rose hips.  I cut the poky things growing out the bottom, put them on a cookie sheet, sprinkled scented oil on them and baked them at 170 deg for about 2 hours, stirring every so often. Then I left them out for 3 days to finish drying.

Homespun Candy Canes.  I got this idea from Eyeballs by Day, Crafts by Night and it can found here.  These were a big seller.

I made this star out of vintage wooden rulers, then added a pip berry wreath.  I also got this idea from Eyeballs by Day, Crafts by Night.  It sold right away! I wish I could find more old rulers, but to be honest these are the only 5 I found in a couple of months looking.

Rebekah made these Gifts in a Jar.  We didn't sell any:(  But she is going to use some for here music teachers and we might hit another market in a couple of weeks.

Finally, a Star Tree Topper.  I made these by spray painting an old bobbin brown, then I glued on a metal barn star.  I also nailed it on with a very small nail through a hole that was in the barn star.

Here is the back view of the tree topper.

There you have it! All the rest of my tutorials in a nutshell.  I hope you all enjoyed it!
God bless.

This post is linked up to; WhipperBerry Funky Junk Interiors Be Different Act Normal Nifty Thrifty Things The Dedicated House Raising Arrows

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Harvest Party"

Tonight, our church hosted their annual "Harvest Party".  We always have such a great time.  We bring goodies and have a hot dog supper and play games.  Our pastor closes the evening with a devotional.

All the kids wear cute costumes.  This year, Jacob dressed up as Robin Hood, Ben dressed up as a pirate and Rebekah dressed up as a girl from the '80's.

We played fun games. Such as "Needle in the Hay Stack"

And "Ring Toss" on to long pumpkin stems.

We all brought some snacks and I brought this;

Candy Corn Bark.  It is crazy good! Even better than I thought it would be from reading the recipe and looking at the pictures.

I got the recipe from Diana Rambles.

Well, this was a fun evening and tomorrow I will be getting the final touches done on all my crafts for the craft show on Saturday. I will be happy when it's over and I can FINALLY decorate our house for Christmas!