Holiday Food Wrap-Up

Yesterday was a lot of fun and there was plenty of great food. However, I only took pictures of the appetizers because they were by far my favorite. I also made some dark chocolate pistachio toffee for dessert. It’s addictive and I’ll be sharing that recipe in a separate post sometime in the next week.

S’mores Marshmallow Pops

Holiday Foodie 2011

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Sugared Cranberries & Dark Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti in the background (I’ll share this recipe later as well)

Holiday Foodie 2011

Toffee fixin’s

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee

Chocolate Fruit Skewers

Holiday Foodie 2011

Holiday Foodie 2011

Blueberry Gingerbread

Blueberry Gingerbread

Balsamic Almonds

Balsamic Almonds

Holy Goodness!

Holiday Foodie 2011

Holiday Foodie 2011

For the decor I used my vintage blue ball jars, pinecones and Christmas lights. I absolutely loved them and am trying to figure out how to leave them all year long.

Holiday Appetizer Decor 2011

 

I don’t have any pictures right now, but as a DIY junkie I got the best gifts ever this year, a workbench for my garage and some tools. I can’t wait to set them up and starting sawing things in half, oh yeah!

Aside from the frustrating back injury, it was a great day and we all had a wonderful time.

What was the best part of your celebration this year?

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Happy Holidays!

I’m currently hobbling around the house with a ridiculously painful back injury from yesterday morning. Christmas baking, it’s dangerous I tell you! However, I’m determined to make this Christmas dinner amazing. Luckily my parents will be over in a bit to help with all the heaving lifting so things are bound to get better.

In the meantime, I wanted to stop by and wish everyone an amazing holiday. Whatever you are celebrating, I hope it is special and full of magic.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Christmas Dinner Menu

This year I am hosting Christmas Dinner at my house and I’ve decided to try something new. I have planned for several new recipes and it will be more of a small plates meal. Lots of items cooked in small quantities so we can try everything without being too stuffed. Oh, let’s face it…we’ll never want to eat again..but it will be worth it!

image

 

Small Bites

Sweet & Spicy Hot Links

Artichoke Dip

Balsamic Almonds

S’more Pops

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

 

Entree

Roasted Turkey Breast

Mom’s Cranberries

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Gratin

Mashed Potatoes w/ Shallots & Thyme

Honey Mustard Braised Brussels Sprouts

Sourdough Sausage Stuffing

Homemade Biscuits

Gravy

 

Dessert

Dark Chocolate Toffee

Apple Tart & Vanilla Bean Gelato

 

Photo Source

DIY Christmas Ornament 18: Paint Dipped Pinecones

I’m not sure why I leaved my favorite ornaments for last, but this is by far one of my favorites. The greatest thing about dipping pinecones in paint is that they aren’t limited to being Christmas ornaments. I can actually keep these out year round since I’ve used soft natural colors. I expect these will end up in vases and bowls throughout the house for the next 12 months.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Step 1:

Collect your supplies.

  • Pinecones
  • Push Pin
  • Basic Wire Ornament Hanger
  • Various Cans of House Paint
  • Paint Stir Sticks
  • Nail/Hammer
  • Paint Tray
  • Ribbon

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Step 2:

Using a push pin, make a hole in the pinecone.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Thread a wire ornament hanger through the hole you just made.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Step 3:

Set up a paint station.

Using a nail and hammer, put several holes near the sides of the paint sticks. Balance them across the paint cans. Set a paint tray underneath the paint stick to catch any paint that drips from the pinecones.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Step 4:

Hold onto the wire hanger and dip the pinecone into the can of paint.

Tip: Use a soft brush or towel to brush any dirt off the pinecone before dipping it. This will minimize any stray dirt that gets into the can of paint.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Be sure to dip the pinecone slowly, holding it over the paint can for a few moments to let it drain a bit.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Step 5:

Hang the pinecone from the holes you put in the stir stick.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Step 6:

Continue dipping all the pinecones in the paint and hang to dry.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Paint Dipped Pinecones

Step 7:

Allow the pinecones to drain/dry for at least 24 hours.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Paint Dipped Pinecones

Paint Dipped Pinecones

Step 8:

For those that you want to hang from the tree, use the hanger that is already hooked into the pinecone. For decoration, add a bow or ribbon around the hanger.

For all the rest, remove the hanger and decorate anywhere you like. The possibilities are endless.

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Paint Dipped Pinecone

Paint Dipped Pinecones

Project Cost Breakdown (per Ornament):

Pinecones (Found – Already Owned) = $0

Push Pin (Already Owned) = $0

Basic Wire Ornament Hanger (Already Owned) = $0

Various Cans of House Paint (Already Owned) = $0

Paint Stir Sticks (Already Owned/Free from Lowes) = $0

Nail/Hammer (Already Owned) = $0

Paint Tray (Already Owned) = $0

Ribbon (Already Owned) = $0

Total Project Cost: $0

 

I know that I originally said I would complete 20 ornaments; however this will be the last one of the series for this year. I have more ornaments than my little 3 foot tree will hold; and that least two will not be dry enough to share over the next few days. I hope you enjoyed the series, it’s been a blast to share it with you. If you missed any of the DIY Ornaments this year, you can see a full collection recap here.

DIY Christmas Ornament 17: Bells

Finally a bells ornament, right? No? Ok…well you get one anyway.

I’ve always had a fascination for bells around Christmas time. I think it’s the sound of bells that ignites the Christmas Spirit so it’s a shame it took me this long to come up with something for the bells.

Bell Ornament

Warning: I didn’t have a tripod while taking these pictures and the low light recorded every shake. I apologize that they are more than a bit blurry.

Step 1:

Collect your supplies.

  • 8 medium sized bells
  • 1 thin, sturdy twig
  • Ribbon or holiday bow
  • Hot Glue/Gun
  • Scissors

Bell Ornament

Bells Ornament

Step 2:

Thread the bells onto the twig, leaving some of the twig exposed at the bottom.

Bells Ornament

Bell Ornament

Bell Ornament

Step 3:

Using hot glue to secure the bottom bell to the twig.

Bell Ornament

Cut off the excess twig at the bottom.

Bell Ornament

Step 4:

Choose a holiday bow in which to top your bell ornament.

Bell Ornament

Wrap the adhesive strip from the bow around the twig at the top of the ornament. You may need to cut the adhesive to make it fit.

Bell Ornament

(sorry so blurry) Must. Find. Tripod. Now.

Bell Ornament

Step 5:

Using scissors, trim the ribbon to show the ornament or wrap the pieces around the bells.

Attach another piece of ribbon on the top of the ornament as a hanger. I used a small piece of white ribbon and secured it with hot glue.

Bell Ornament

Project Cost Breakdown (per Ornament):

Holiday Bells (Already Owned – Originally purchased from Michaels for another project) = $0

Twig (Found Object) = $0

Holiday Ribbon (Already Owned) = $0

Hot Glue/Gun (Already Owned) = $0

Total Project Cost: $0

DIY Christmas Ornament 16: Marbling

I know I’ve said it before, but this one is just too cool. With all the great holiday colors out there, the possibilities are endless. My only suggestion is to NOT use anything paint with glitter. The glitter will eventually drift to the bottom and the end result won’t look as great as you think it will. Trust me on this. Those paints also tend to be thicker which will be much harder to work with.

For this project, use a basic, inexpensive crafty paint. You could also use leftover interior paint if you have some on hand.

Marbling Ornament

Step 1:

Collect your supplies.

  • Clear Ornament
  • Craft Paint
  • Toilet Paper Tube

Marbling Ornament

Use the tube anytime you need to balance the ornament (especially important when you are taking pictures).

Remove ornament cap.

Marbling Ornament

Step 2:

Start by dripping a drop of one color into the ornament and let it drip down the side.

Marbling Ornament

Continue doing this with any additional colors you have.

Marbling Ornament

As the paint drips down the edge you want to swirl it so there are no clear parts of the ornament left. Once half the ornament is done squeeze a few drops of each color into the bottom of the ornament then swirl them around to cover the rest of the ornament.

Step 3:

Once all clear spots are covered tip the ornament upside down on the toilet paper to let any excess paint drain. Make sure to put a few paper towels under the toilet paper roll to catch the paint.

Marbling Ornament

Step 4:

Replace the ornament cap and enjoy!

This would also be a great craft to give new life to any old clear ornaments that you have. Even if they have color or designs on them, the marbling could look really awesome.

Marbling Ornament

Project Cost Breakdown (per Ornament):

Clear Ornament (Already Owned) = $0

Craft Paint (Already Owned) = $0

Toilet Paper Roll/Paper Towel (Already Owned) = $0

Total Project Cost: $0

DIY Christmas Ornament 15: Paper Art

I’ll be honest, this ornament is going to be difficult to explain. It’s a play off some paper quilling art I used to do in junior high and while it isn’t hard, it is a little time intensive…and that doesn’t include the time I had to take after nearly slicing my finger off with an X-acto blade.

This is also a huge ornament that would probably work better sitting on a mantle or as wall art. Of course, you could make it smaller simply by using shorter strips, but after cutting my finger, I didn’t want to start over. Actually the original plan was to make a full flower, but the end piece was so big that I stopped it halfway, and I think it worked out pretty well.

Also, please bear with any typos. The bandage on my hand keeps hitting the ‘y’ key.

Paper Ornament

Step 1:

Collect your supplies.

  • 2 pieces of computer paper
  • X-acto blade
  • Ruler
  • Tacky Glue or White Glue
  • Spray Adhesive/Glitter (optional)

Paper Quilling Ornament

Step 2:

Using the X-acto blade and ruler, cut the computer paper into 1/2 inch thick strips.

Paper Ornament

Step 3:

Then cut a 3 of those pieces in half.

Paper Ornament

Put a dab of tacky glue at one end and roll, securing with another dab of glue at the other end.

Paper Ornament

You will need one of these for each petal of your flower. If you choose to do more or less petals than mine, keep this in mind. Also, you can use white glue (such as Elmer’s) but it takes a bit longer to dry and the tacky will shave quite a bit of time off the project and you shouldn’t need to clamp anything for drying.

Paper Ornament

Step 4:

Take 3 strips of full length paper (not the ones you cut in half) and fold them in half.

Paper Ornament

Line them in a way you like, and then glue the sides toether.

Paper Ornament

Add the the circle you created earlier, and figure out your spacing.

Paper Ornament

Apple a little glue to the circle and then squeeze the sides in, attached the circle to the sides.

Paper Ornament

At this point it should look like this.

Paper Ornament

Cut off the excess and add any glue if any of your pieces come loose.

Paper Ornament

Make 5 of these petals.

Paper Ornament

Paper Ornament

Paper Ornament

Paper Ornament

Step 5:

Using Tacky Glue, attach all the petals together at the base as well as in between each petal.

Paper Ornament

Tip: If your flower is a little flimsy on the bottom, use a few of the remaining strips. Fold them in half and glue them along the bottom of the flower. You won’t see them, but they’ll keep the base of the flower sturdy.

Paper Ornament

Step 6:

Optional: spray with adhesive and sprinkle with glitter.

Paper Ornament

Step 7:

Add a bit of ribbon to the top and hang from the tree.

Paper Ornament

Project Cost Breakdown (per Ornament):

Computer Paper (Already Owned) = $0 [You could also use vintage pages from books, sheet music would look pretty cool too]

Tacky Glue (Already Owned) = $0

Spray Adhesive/Glitter (Already Owned) = $0

Ruler/X-Acto Blade (…bandages) (Already Owned) = $0

Total Project Cost: $0

DIY Christmas Ornament 14: Raised Words

Whoa,where did the day go? Even though today was incredibly busy, it was also completely productive. I feel like I knocked out most of my to do list for this week and it feels so good.

The best news of all…my Christmas shopping is DONE!

I even finished up the ornament for today; although, I’m barely getting it posted in time.

Puffy Paint Ornament

Step 1:

Collect your supplies.

  • Clear Ornament
  • Puffy Paint
  • White Spray Paint
  • Twine/Ribbon

Puffy Paint Ornament

Step 2:

Using the puffy paint, write a holiday message on the ornament. I learned pretty quick that I’m not great at writing with puffy paint so I chose a short word.

Puffy Paint Ornament

Tip: You can also use hot glue to do this step if you don’t have puffy paint. Make sure to clean off any glue strings before you spray the ornament. Also BONUS, with hot glue, it will dry much faster and you’ll be able to spray paint much sooner.

Step 3:

After the puffy paint has dried, I sprayed the entire ornament with some satin white spray paint that I had on hand. Since my garage has terrible lighting, I don’t have any pictures. However, it made quick work of the ornament and after letting it dry overnight, I was pleased with how it turned out.

Step 4:

Add a little twine and ribbon for a fun.

Puffy Paint Ornament

 

Project Cost Breakdown (per Ornament):

Clear Ornament (Already Owned) = $0

Puffy Paint (Michaels) = $2

Satin White Spray Paint (Already Owned) = $0

Twine/Ribbon (Already Owned) = $0

Total Project Cost: $2

DIY Christmas Ornament 13: Felt Tree

While this ornament is a little more time intensive than other ornaments I’ve done, it really is quite easy and BONUS…It turns out the cutest little felt tree I’ve ever seen. I also had an adorable little helper when it was time to take pictures of the finished tree, I’ll introduce you below.

Felt Tree Ornament

Step 1:

Collect your supplies.

  • Felt (1 sheet for each color you want. I used 1 sheet of olive green and 1 sheet of cream)
  • 1 Cork
  • Thread (I used the crochet thread that I had purchased for thisornament) & large Needle
  • 4 Fake Berries or Large Beads
  • Tacky Glue & Hot Glue/Gun
  • Basic Wire Ornament Hanger
  • Scissors

Felt Tree Ornament

Step 2:

My tree had 4 levels so you’ll need to choose which color will be the bottom level of your tree and cut 3 circles of felt that are the same size. I used a canning lid to make this first layer. These should be the larges of the 4 circles.

Felt Tree Ornament

Felt Tree Ornament

Step 3:

Choose the color felt you want to use for the next level and cut 3 circles of that color, slightly smaller than the previous circles.

Felt Tree Ornament

Tip: I’m sure I’m not alone in cutting shaky circle out of felt. To help me keep the circles consistent I found things around my house to help make the circles. For the 3rd level, I used a TP roll pressed onto an ink pad to create the circle on the felt. Then it was just as easy as cutting along the line. Although if you do this, be light handed with the ink as you don’t want it to show after you cut the circles.

Felt Tree Ornament

Keep going with the additional levels of your tree.

Felt Tree Ornament

When you’re done, you will have 4 levels of felt that will create your tree. Each level should be made up of 3 felt circles, giving you a total of 12 circles.

Felt Tree Ornament

Step 4:

Using tacky glue, glue the 3 layers of felt together for each level. This step is to make sure that each layer of the tree is study enough to actually look like a tree in the end. Depending on how thick your felt is, you may need more or less than 3 layers. I used basic felt sheets purchased from Michael’s and 3 layers worked perfectly.

Felt Tree Ornament

Now, instead of having 12 pieces of felt, you should have 4 thick pieces of felt.

Felt Tree Ornament

Step 5: (I really hope this makes sense)

Thread a large needle with the string or crochet thread and make a knot at one end of the thread. You are going to thread each layer of felt onto the thread, separating each level with a bead or fake berry.

Starting with the bottom layer, push the needle up through the bottom level of tree.

Felt Tree Ornament

I used fake foam berries that I pulled of a plant I had in the house, but you could use big beads as well.

Felt Tree Ornament

Thread the needle through the berry.

Felt Tree Ornament

Start making your tree by alternating felt with berry…

Felt Tree Ornament

…until you have a complete Christmas tree.

Felt Tree Ornament

At the top of the tree, make a small loop out of the thread and tie a knot, cut off the excess. You can then use a basic wire ornament hanger to hang the ornament.

Felt Tree Ornament

Tip: Use some homemade mod podge and glitter to give the top berry a little sparkle.

Step 6:

Cut a cork down using a straight edge blade. Using hot glue, apply it to the bottom of the tree.

Felt Tree Ornament

I think this ranks as the cutest ornament so far, I absolutely love it.

Felt Tree Ornament

Felt Tree Ornament

Felt Free Ornament

Behind the scenes: My hands always shake when I’m trying to hold the DSLR with only one hand and the ornament in the other for pictures. So I had to enlist a little help in holding the ornament during the photoshoot.

Meet my little balloon dog…He did a great job.

Felt Tree Ornament

Project Cost Breakdown (per ornament):

  • Felt (1 sheet for each color you want) (Already Owned) = $0
  • 1 Cork (Already Owned) = $0
  • Thread (I used the crochet thread that I had purchased for thisornament) & large Needle  (Already Owned) = $0
  • 4 Fake Berries or Large Beads (Already Owned) = $0
  • Tacky Glue & Hot Glue/Gun (Already Owned) = $0
  • Basic Wire Ornament Hanger (Already Owned) = $0
  • Scissors (Already Owned) = $0

Total Project Cost: $0 FREE!

Felt Tree Ornament

The balloon dog is heavy light pink glass and looks like a balloon dog in every way, he’s adorable. I picked him up for cheap at Homegoods a while back, but I believe you can still find it at retail stores online.

Linking To: Funky Junk Interiors