Saturday

Sweet Eggnog Holiday Bread

Merry Christmas!!!  You may already have your neighbor gifts "all wrapped up", but I wanted to share our favorite with you...Sweet Eggnog Holiday Bread.  I love how this bread makes our house smell of vanilla, nutmeg...and sugary goodness. The bread itself has the texture of a pound cake, but is not too heavy and sweet.  It is just right!  


Since I can't have all of you as my neighbors on my street...I'm sharing our family's favorite recipe so you too can enjoy a little egg-noggy sweetness this weekend!


Sweet Eggnog Holiday Bread

2 Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Eggnog
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
2 Teaspoons Rum Extract
1 Teaspoon Real Vanilla
2 1/4 Cup Flour
2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg

Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the next five ingredients.  Blend everything really well.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until it is just moist.  Pour into a greased loaf pan or into four small "neighbor" sized mini-pans (Only fill half-way).  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or 25 minutes if you are making mini-pans.  Let cool before you wrap.

Three days to go...so I am off to get a few more things done before my sweet kids from Washington show up for the week.  There is no greater gift a mom-ma can receive that to have her children home for the holidays...so I have a lot to do in the next 72 hours.

All Joy,

Abby

Friday

Cookies for Christmas

It's just a few days until Christmas and I am ready to put my apron on and gather my little "elves" together to bake up a flurry of cookies!  We have about eight different cookies and treats that we bake each Christmas. The first cookie to come out of the oven every year is my favorite "hard" gingerbread cookie.  I use these cookies everywhere in my kitchen and for our gingerbread house.  


They come out of the oven slightly soft and harden without crumbling within an hour.  Honestly...you could probably frost and Modge-Podge them to keep year after year...they are that sturdy!  So I am posting this recipe for a little holiday cheer that will last and last....

Decorator Gingerbread

1 Cup Butter
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Dark Corn Syrup
1/3 Cup Molasses
4 Eggs
8 3/4 Cup Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Allspice
Non-Stick Spray

Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy.  Beat in the corn syrup, molasses, and eggs until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix together.  Divide the dough into four parts and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in fridge until chilled (about two hours).  Spray a cookie sheet with the non-stick spray and bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  


If you are going to want to hang the cookies for a decoration, use a straw to create a hole in the cookie before baking!

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday week!  

Wednesday

Dear Santa - Free Pattern Download

We have twelve more days till Santa comes down the chimney!  I don't know about your house, but we are getting pretty excited around here.  A couple of years ago I was cleaning our home and found the cutest little note tucked into the fireplace.


Our littlest boy had heard tall tales about Santa from all of his older disillusioned brothers and sisters.  He was questioning whether Santa was "real" or not...hoping that he was coming to see him on Christmas morning.  Tucked into the fireplace was a little note that said, "Der Santa...I Luf you!"  My heart melted, so I had to make it into a stitch to remember his little "luf" note to the big jolly elf.

My little Christmas treat to you this week is a free download of the pattern.  Go to the side link and download a copy for your we little ones.

All Joy,

Abby


Monday

Ho Ho Ho - Santa Has A Brand New Bag

Monday's are crazy around here...lot's to clean and many projects to wrap up... literally!  My hubs and I spent the weekend at an all day concert that our son performed in and making a few more gifts for our children.  I promised a tutorial on stenciling on burlap, and what better way to show you how to stencil than to make a new bag for the Santa gifts!


Materials

Arcrylic Black Paint
Round Stencil Sponge Brush
Stencils
1 Yard of Red Burlap
1 Yard of Coordinating Fabric (liner)
2 Yard of Trim
Fabric Glue
Black Belt


1. Fold the yard of red burlap in half width wise and with right sides together sew two sides closed to make a sack and turn right-side out.

2.  Fold the lining fabric in half with right sides together and stitch the two sides to make into a sack.

3.  Turn inside out so that the "right-side" in on the "in-side".

4.  Slip inside the burlap sack and pin the two sacks together and the top.  Sew together about a half of an inch from the top.

5.  Fold the top down an inch once, and then turn it over an inch again.

6.  Slip stitch the folded edge to the sack face to hold in place.

7.  Using fabric glue, attach the trim around the folded and stitched edge...now your sack is ready for the stenciling!

8. Choose your wording and the stencils you want to use.  I purchased my lettering stencils at Wal-Mart for $3.69 and the scroll piece from Hobby Lobby for about $2.00.  I choose to stencil the lettering "Santa & Company".

9.  I lay out the lettering to make sure the sizing works on the fabric piece before I begin painting.


10.  I put a little bit of the paint on a paper plate and use sponge brushes so I can dispose of them after and not feel guilty.  Get your brush a little bit in the paint and dab it around on the plate to get any excess paint out of the sponge.


11.  Place the stencil where you want to begin and hold the stencil in place with one hand.

12.  Using the other hand lightly tap the sponge over the letter opening of the stencil.  I use a quick up and down motion to get as little paint on the fabric as possible.  This gives it an aged look and I can always add more (but you can't take it away).  So start with a little and add more if you would like darker lettering.


13.  Continue with the stenciling technique until all of the lettering and designs are on your sack.

14.  Let dry for about 20 minutes.


15.  Take an old black belt and maker a few smaller holes if necessary to cinch it around the top of the sack.

16.  Fill with your Santa gifts and place under the tree!!!


I love my new Santa Sack...it looks great under our tree with a few little gifts I trust the boys will not open before the big day!  Tomorrow I am using this same pattern and stenciling to make a Reindeer Treat Bag for our front porch.  If you have any questions on this pattern or painting technique, send me a message at the Tweetle Dee Design Co Facebook Page or by email at tweetledeedesignco@gmail.com.

Have a great week!

All Joy,

Abby

Saturday

Welcome Home - Burlap and Bells

Welcome to my front porch!   It is all decked out for Christmas in red and green burlap...I told you I went crazy for this stuff.  I found the colored burlap at my local Hobby Lobby and have been sewing ever since.

We have an old sled that my father-in-law gave to me years ago.  He and his siblings rode it down the hills with joy and terror and now it graces our front porch with it's own declaration of "Joy".


I painted our front door this summer and love the pop of fresh green against the red candy canes.  The door decal is from The House of Smiths.


My favorite vintage touch are the sleigh bells tucked into my candy canes door wreath.  They came from one of the horse sleds on our family farm in New York.

Every time our door opens or closes I hear the jingle of those old bells and it brings a little bit of home to the wild west!  I love using family heritage touches in my Christmas decorating.


Today I am working on a new 12 Days of Christmas project, and my reindeer and Santa sacks.  I will have instructions for all of these projects on Monday's blog post.  Have a great weekend!!!

All Joy,

Abby

Friday

Bonkers for Burlap

It's been two weeks since we ate turkey and pie...and ripped our house apart to get it ready for Christmas.  Each year I add a few more decorations to the house and this season, my favorite additions have been the burlap...


...and the extra large print of Isaiah 9:6 from Kiki & Company...it is super cool on my large wall. (I'm thinking I need a replacement print similar to this when the holidays are over.)



When we begin decorating for Christmas, every thing else in the main living areas goes away for a few months....except for one special photograph.  I cherish this picture of my Grandma Lyke, who was married on Christmas night to her childhood sweetheart. This one photograph of love and beauty, a union made on a dark snowy Christmas night, always warms my heart.


 I made these burlap pillows using some stencils and acrylic paint....I love them!!!  They are super easy to make and durable enough to work on a front porch or a leather couch.  I'll add a photo how-to on Monday.


So this is our living room, which faces out to the mountain and snow.  Which lends itself to the rustic feel of burlap.  Trust me, working with burlap is one of the easiest mediums to work with....you will go bonkers over it too!  
I'm working on a Santa Sack and a Reindeer Treat Sack today, so I'll get lots of pictures and some easy stenciling tips too.

Have a wonderful weekend!

All Joy,

Abby
 
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