Friday, December 15, 2017

1959 vintage calendar page

I have found a few more of the little Scripture calendars that used to come bound in Woman's Day magazine's January issues.  Today I thought I would share the page from December 1959.

There are so many sweet details in this picture, but the best way for you to see them is just to click on the picture to enlarge it.  (I tried making it a larger size, but that cut some of the details out and that just wasn't a good thing, to my mind.)  The eyeglasses and book -- maybe a Bible, maybe a nature journal?; the plant in the window -- likely a poinsettia; the grandfather clock; even the cute homemade ornaments on the tree.  I remember making those woven heart baskets like those with students at the small Christian school where I helped out.  I brought in craft materials and simple patterns, and the kids worked on Christmas ornaments during their breaks all through December. 

Hope you've enjoyed this little vintage calendar page as much as I did and that it may have brought back some memories for you as it did for me.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Zesty Potato Soup

Photo from Taste of Home
I tried this recipe sometime last winter and filed it away to share in December, so here it is: Zesty Potato Soup.    I think I originally found the recipe in an early issue of Quick Cooking.  The picture looks so familiar, I think it may even have been on the cover of the magazine.

This soup is very easy to make and takes basic ingredients.  If you don't ordinarily keep chopped green chiles on hand, you will want to buy some for this recipe.  (I do try to keep them on hand, myself.) This is a very warming soup for cold December nights.  Tonight is predicted to be around 0º and it's already down to around 10º -- chilly indeed!  If I didn't already have our supper in the oven, I would be whipping up a batch of this soup.  I hope you enjoy the soup if you try the recipe.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A great resource!

This is going to sound silly ... but I really wish you would all check out my Christmas in July posts.  Go ahead -- go right over there to the label cloud in the sidebar at right and click on "Christmas in July". You'll find some great ideas there.  I can say this because most of them are not original with me.  I've linked to dozens of wonderful Christmas projects and ideas, many of which will be new to you.  I always find these great ideas in July (or earlier, if I schedule the posts) and I need to go back and look at them closer to Christmas when I may be in need of some fresh inspiration.  So go ahead ... check out Christmas in July tonight or tomorrow.  I plan to!

A little vintage mystery

In my cleaning and sorting, I'm finding many treasures as well as a lot of trash.  Often I wonder just why this or that was carefully saved.  The items I'm sharing today are a case in point.  There was a small cedar chest that had been on a bookshelf in my parents' living room for as long as I can remember.  I think my mother told us she had received it as a girl from a friend of their family, and that her three sisters had also received cedar chests at that time.

One of the things in the box was the Santa sticker at the top of the post.  Then there were two more stickers (only I think they called them "seals" back then), one of them still attached to pretty, very fancy green ribbon.  There was a very long piece of ribbon and it was carefully folded around all three stickers. 

I'm not sure why these trims were saved so carefully.  They obviously had been part of the wrappings for a very special gift.  My guess, though it may be inaccurate, is that they had trimmed the gift-wrapped cedar chest and that it had been a Christmas gift.  What do you think?

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Christmasy finished project!

I actually finished the stitching on this some time ago.  It has taken me this long to figure out how I wanted to complete this lovely December sampler.  It has languished around looking just like this for quite awhile.  ↓↓↓↓↓

I knew that I didn't want to frame this piece, but I wasn't sure what I did want to do with it.  However, in recent months I have been very inspired by my stitching friends Arlene at Nanaland and Sandy at
I Majored in Home Economics.  I saw a piece that Arlene had finished by using a clipboard and burlap, and was intrigued.  But this piece is unusually long and narrow, and I wasn't sure if that technique would work. 

During my cleaning and decluttering at my parents' home, I came upon a longer-than-usual clipboard.  An idea began to form in my mind and I thought that this December sampler might look very nice with homespun behind it, and I had some homespun in my stash.  After consulting with Arlene and getting some technical advice, I was ready to finish the piece, but lacked the time.  I finished it today and am very pleased with how it turned out!
The above photo is taken with the piece lying flat on a table so you can see more of the clipboard.  The photo at top of post is taken with the piece hanging on the wood-shingled wall in our front hallway.  What fun to have finished this to display in December!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

An unusual and pretty Christmas card

 I have never seen a Christmas card like this one, and most likely you all haven't, either.  It's a wooden card that was sent to my family one year, probably in the early 1960s, by friends in the lumber business.  A label on the back says it is made by Yankee Artists in Keene, New Hampshire from the wood of the silk cotton tree, which apparently grows in Africa and South America.  The cards were called SilkWoods.  I did a small amount of research to learn more about this company and see if it was still in business, but was unable to find any information.

The card is unique, for sure, and I love its farm and mountain scene.  I particularly like the green farmhouse contrasted with the red barn, and the mountains towering above.  Hope you've enjoyed this vintage card!

Saturday, December 09, 2017

A quick-to-make supper for a busy day

I've shared this recipe on my regular blog, but not here on my Christmas blog.  I happened to think of posting it here since it's what I prepared for supper last night.  You have to love an oven recipe that's fast to put together and contains pretty much an entire meal in a 13x9 dish!  Here's the recipe:


1 package of chicken sausage (fully cooked type such as Al Fresco) -- in the sweet apple flavor
1 large sweet onion
1 large apple (Honey Crisp is the best!) or 2 smaller apples
1 tube garlic and herb polenta
Olive oil
Salt and pepper (optional)

Have a 9 x 13-inch baking dish ready and just add the ingredients as you prepare them.  Slice up the chicken sausages.  I slice each one lengthwise and then cut them into about 1/4-inch slices crosswise.  Peel the onion, cut it in half and cut each half into wedges.  (Or cut them smaller if your onion is really huge.)  Wash, core and slice the apples into wedges.  Don't bother to peel them.  Then slice your polenta.  I cut it in quarters lengthwise and then slice it between 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch thick.  Now drizzle some olive oil (at least a tablespoon, but it's up to you) over the ingredients in the baking dish.  Salt and pepper to taste if you like.  Stir everything together well.

Bake at 375º for 1 hour.

It's so easy to just slice up a few things, stir the mixture, and pop the dish in the oven. You can adjust the quantities to feed your family.   I often use an extra apple and/or onion.  The apples are just so good this way.  The dish smells delicious as it bakes, too.  Sides could be about anything -- a salad, a rice dish, a vegetable like broccoli or green beans.  This time, I had some of the microwave-ready potatoes from Little Potato Company, in the savory herb flavor, so I just used a package of those  as a side dish and that was plenty for us.

Hope this quick and delicious meal may be a December lifesaver for someone else!

Friday, December 08, 2017

A new-to-me mailbox card!

If you've been reading here long at all, you know of my love for Christmas cards depicting scenes that include mailboxes.  In my current cleaning and sorting spree, I've found maybe a half dozen of cards with this type of seen, ones I had never seen before.  They are all different.  I can't tell you how thrilled I was when I found the first one ... and then there were more!

This one has some interesting elements: the barn in the background; the horse and sleigh; the sprig of holly in with the cards and package; the clump of birch trees at right.  As always, I am thoroughly charmed by these nostalgic images.  Hope you've enjoyed seeing this one!