Monday, December 11, 2017

Cookie Day at our House.

This is an annual event, we make up dough and family and friends roll, cut and bake them at our house. Then, ages 5-70, we decorate until we drop. Some are left un-iced for those who don't like icing.

Some wine is consumed, and we have a potluck of sorts. Fun Day!


I make up two huge batches of dough (12 cups of flour) of my husband's great grandmother's recipe.
It has buttermilk in it and lard....so they are very tender.


Here are the cookies drying out. The dough was just too soft this year, so I aged them.



Even the the non-artist types got into it. Love this moose---with the white stockings.



We also had a batch of gingerbread, these are the real hard/crispy ones.
A few pans burned a bit...always happens. 



So I made dog treats, 1/3 (1 cup about) broken/crisp cookies - 2/3 (2 cups) long-cook whole grain oatmeal, about 1/2 cup of baked pumpkin and equal amount of peanut butter to make a soft mixture. Roll into balls, dry for a few hours, and then freeze. 
These are great treats for older dogs as they are softer. 

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.
 Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!


Sandi




Thursday, November 30, 2017

DIY Christmas Advent Calendar


Last year I made a DIY lunch bag advent organizer, with bags attached with strings to a calendar. What a mess. This year, I decided to invest in something permanent...
sort of for my 5 year-old Grandgirl.



My son's house is basically BLACK,  WHITE, and LIME GREENS. .
So I chose the lighter green for the numbers.
The shoe organizer for the REDO was under $8.00 at Walmart. Finding the 24 pocket one wasn't that easy---since I didn't want to spend an arm an a leg. Besides the mesh front is a bit forgiving 
for different shaped items.



I used sticky foam for the numbers----I know these won't last forever, but that is the level she is at right now. I added felt snowflakes with hot glue and little foam embellishments in simple shape to go 
with their contemporary decor. 


I used a number stencil set on one of my alphabet stencils to trace on the back of the foam, backwards, and then cut them out...!
Because the front of the pockets is a nylon mesh, I hot glued a couple inches on the back of the letters and rubbed the hot glue across with a spoon, to encase the mesh. 



In the pockets, I used decorative lunch bags (5 for 97cents) and filled them with craft supplies, kits, books, puzzles, cookie mix and sprinkles, window clings, 


...glitter glue, velvet posters, wooden ornaments to paint, 


acrylic pots, pom-poms--life savers, and more books.


and of course chenille stems. A paper banner with stickum letters to put together for 
MERRY CHRISTMAS

Phew! I collect these things and more over the Fall season, and sale pricing was so good I hit Michael's and Joann's for small kids kits, as well as the Dollar Store. I probably have enough to do another one. To be honest, it didn't take that long to do. One night cutting out the letters in front of the TV and the next day attaching the numbers, decorations and bagging the booty.


The colored lunched bags add a very festive look to the organizer.
Here, is the finished festive Advent Calendar. The best part of this, is she has something to do 
everyday now and can learn how many days away Christmas really is.
I rolled it up in a ball and took it to their house yesterday.


My Grand can't wait to investigate, and the calendar installed into my son and d-in-law's home. 
I had an extra book wrapped up for yesterday---that was too big, just to appease her until
Friday, December 1st---!
Christmas is only 25 days AWAY!
Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.
 Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!

Sandi




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ready for November?

I can't believe we are into November and Veterans Day is this weekend.


Special Thanks to our Veterans, young, old, here and gone.


My Dad (the blond) served in WWII in a Surgical Hospital unit.  Here they are on previously held Japanese territory, somewhere in New Guinea or Philippines. 


Our newest memorial in Washington DC, the WWII Memorial. Dad took a trip with HONOR Flight in his wheel chair in 2010. 

Thanks to all who serve and their families too. 

With only two more weeks to Thanksgiving, I'm fluffing the house. We live so informally in the Summer, it's nice to get out some lovely things, pull the slip covers off the furniture and change the table cloths. I'm low key on decorating as my home is already made for Fall. Deep sage green walls in the living room, woods the color of rust  and a carpet that has every color of a wild field of grasses and leaves in Fall.












I used leaves on a rust silk runner. I pulled out some brass and silver (not yet polished for serving, filled everything with leaves, potpourri, and a few small pumpkins.

I'll be serving snacks, beverages, and dessert from this buffet, so I try and keep it simple this year. 
And easy to move around.


I found this velvet owl in a thrift store last season and he just hooted his way into my basket. He's handmade and decked out in luxurious fabrics and ribbons. Huge brass buttons are his eyes.
The carafe and four glasses were a wedding present from 1968. I will fill it with a tawny port for Thanksgiving and after dinner.
The velveteen pumpkin is replaced with a live one, rescued from the freezing porch.



The arrangement is just a green leaves arrangement I move around the house. I love the ivy is all matte/dusty and full of tiny tendrils---I tucked colored leaves and a pumpkin stem and it's perfect for simple setting. Small white pumpkins fill in and set off another silver tray.


My gilded coffeepot was a gift from a friend, and I just love all the hand-painting on it.  More silver and an old cake plate set off more leaves, potpourri and the few dried hydrangeas.
Candles with auto timers in them, are used in our dark evenings. I have two flame electric candles lighting up the buffet behind the glass and candlesticks. 
This all makes a safe warm glow.


I had to bring my pumpkins in from outside, since it was 20 degrees or so last night. 


I've rescued the plants and the witch scarves have disappeared. We have snow forecast for the weekend, so everything will look different next week.
We've had sunshine with this cold weather.


My faux foliage will survive, with the dried gourds. But this is par for this strange year of crazy weather. You can see, the leaves haven't really changed,
 so they will probably fall after the frost, still green.


The front table is still ready, and the chenille pumpkin is still napping on the spinning wheel. 


Lots of windows, dusting, cabinets to clean---still to go this week. 

But I smell something baking...what could it be? 
Next post maybe. 

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.
 Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!



Sandi








Wednesday, November 1, 2017

JUST A THOUGHT: Okay, people....just hold on fer a second...!

I seldom rant online, 'cause I do it plenty in Real Life. Just ask my kid's, who have begun to think of me as doddering instead of simply eccentric.

Really my soul mellows with  the glow of LED lights in pumpkins,




(I actually miss the scent of candle-burnt pumpkin flesh) and witches swinging on brooms in the finally FALL cool, very cool Chicagoland wind....to the first lightest touch of frost-baring the grasses skeletal remains.


 We have the crisp winds now, but the mellow sunsets are something that only happens in real FALL.


Our tree hasn't even turned yet....this is an old picture.



I suppose, next week there will be thirty Christmas House walks posted-----and a meagre few Thanksgiving halls, mantels, table-settings squished in, REALLY!




I personally can't find my kitchen table for all the Hallweeny projecting, I finally worked on this
week. Table top soon to be filled with turkeys, in two weeks or so.





When I retired from mass/merchandising, I gave up working on displaying Christmas in July with a 15-foot (horror) tree, to what I thought were nice family-paced holidays.






But YOU (you know who you are)---Ladies and Gents of Blogland are forever pushing the calendar up my..., to quote Audrey H, my "Bloomin' arse!"




Seriously, why can't we just take a breath, mellow, and enjoy the few days left of Fall---the leaves still on the trees haven't turned yet-



--How about long enough for me to find my Fall bins I didn't find for this season? Or, to add the few improvisational bits of Fall decor I did come up with.



Can't we---collectively not SUPER_PUSH the Season's and give Veteran's Day,
Thanksgiving, etc., their due.

Just a little time, because I know it will be a chore to find that one and only Thanksgiving bin I have hidden in the labyrinth of the basement storage.


I need time to catch my breath, savor the last bits of sunshine, have some tea on the porch.




Besides, we need to lose that five pounds we gained from eating the Halloween Candy, before we start in on all the holiday goodies, and.....




 MAKING YOUR CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS----PERFECT!

Bless you all, Sandi

How's your Fall going?

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.
 Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!



Sandi





Thursday, October 19, 2017

Midwest Gardening in October

I've already belabored the woes of our crazy Midwest weather this year, it's been crazy all over the country though. Bits of beauty survive in our yard despite no Fall color to speak of and everything
on the tail end of dead.

Here in Chicagoland, despite the heat and drought of August and September, the Zinnias were extremely vigorous. Not too many blossoms, but lots of growth. In drought I hold back on fertilizing, as plants are just trying to maintain their existing leaves and flowers. I'm sure this reduced blooming on everything.


The last two weeks Silver Maple trees have cast about leaves almost everywhere each day. We will be mulching all our garden beds, a GREEN thing to do.


These double layered Zinnias have petticoats of orange under there crimson centers. The lime green leaves in pots are the last of our hot peppers.


I leave perennials in the garden until they seed this time of year. 
Black-eyed Susans are in the background, ready to drop their seeds.



Leggy Coleus and the last of the Impatiens on one of our full rainbarrels.
Rainbarrels are a great way to help drought gardens. We have four and will probably add another next year.--another GREEN thing to do.



Our pond with dried up squash vines hanging. Cherry Tomatoes behind still trying.


Some Ruby Chard and Carnival (mixed) Chard. 
This will make some great greens for some soup. NUM!




Mislabeled HOT peppers----LOTS more than we will ever use.


Cinderella has nothing on us. 
This pumpkin perched itself on an OLD antique cultivator and grew to a 
spectacular size for a homegrown pumpkin.


I have big Scandinavian hands----so this will show how big this perfect pumpkin is.
We only had two large pumpkins and three small ones, about 20% of our usual production.



REDO: Hubby rebuilt the 'family' cultivator last year, and now it's a pumpkin perch.


Here's the last Spaghetti Squash still on the vine with overgrown green beans hanging there too. This was taken late in the afternoon, I love the shadows and leaves in this photo---un-altered photo.




The front porch is finally cool enough to sit on the furniture. 
Trees block the low sun now, instead of boiling the porch.  
My Fall arrangement is a REDO with dried gourds from last year. 


My house plants are still happy on the porch. But they will have to come in soon.

I haven't found my bin of Fall decor, yet or my sunflower pillows?
But then, without color in the trees, it just doesn't feel like Fall.




Next week is Halloween---really? 
An OLD thrift shop witch swinging in the wind, I call her Gerty and she is the 
extent of Halloween decor this year.

Maybe this weekend, we can get some things up. 

When is it going to look like Fall? Orange and Yellow, 
doesn't go well with Christmas Decorations, lol.

How's your Fall going?

Thanks always for visiting. 
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or any products shown or anywhere I shop.
 Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!






Sandi