Previous month:
November 2008
Next month:
January 2009

December 2008



The other amazing gift I got was a hand-made doll from my good friend Angie. Angie is very passionate and focused about making dolls and it shows in her work. She does needle-felt dolls, wooden carved dolls, embroidered dolls and many more. She knows I have a Jewish grandma Clare (who I died before I was born and I am named after) so I love my babushka, I call her Bubba. She is cross between my Jewish grandmother and little red riding hood. What I think is really amazing about her is her embroidered eyes. It shows just how talented Angie's is. Thank you Angie and am thrilled to finally own one of your dolls xoxoxo

PS. I just made the raspberry meringue trifle and the pastry cream did not thicken. So I had ti adjust the recipe. I just wanted ot let you know I fixed the post below with the recipe !!!


Biscut Holder

Biscut holder4 

This year we did not do a lot of gifts, except for the girls. But my mother did get me a really amazing gift and I had to share. It is a biscuit holder for our teas. It is not big enough to be a cookie holders but perfect for biscuits. The little woven handle makes it for me. Thank you mom, you have such a wonderful eye xoxo

My sweet Auberne` got me (at the Christmas House, of course) a little cottage creamer. It is missing the lid but I think it will be perfect to hold a tea light.  Thank you sweetie. My thatched cottage collection is growing xoxoxox

Biscut holder2 

Biscut holder3

Raspberry Meringue Trifle

Libary tree1 

I hope you had a lovely, peaceful Christmas. Ours was, thankgoodness. I have a cold but was still able to enjoy it all. For News Years Eve, I am planning to make a raspberry meringue trifle. I love the idea of the crunchy meringues, with the creamy pastry cream and the not to sweet raspberries. Throw in a bit of chocolate and I think it will be heaven.

Yes, one more tree. I am out of control, I know. This is my library tree. I used my houses and red transfer-wear. It is very libaryish !!!!

Raspberry Meringue Trifle

meringue cookies (I like the mini vanilla ones at Trader Joe's)

pastry cream *

fresh raspberries

grated bittersweet chocolate

In  deep dish or trifle dish, lay 1/3 of meringues and 1/3 of the pastry cream. Sprinkle some raspberries and grated chocolate. Repeat two more times. Make 8 hours early, to let all the ingredients meld.

*Pastry Cream

1 quart whole milk

12 egg yokes, you could use the whites to make the meringue cookies

1 1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

2 TBL. Grand Marnier or orange liquor or orange juice

In a large heavy sauce pan or double boiler, but has to be big enough to hold all the milk and eggs (mine is not) or a large metal bowl over a pan.

Whisk together egg yokes and sugar. Then slowly whisk in milk. Set on med. heat (but not too high, you want to simmer, not boil) and keep whisking till cream thickens. About 4-6 minutes or so. If not thickening, then you can turn the heat up more. Just keep stiring and do not leave it. If you think the eggs ended up forming lumps, then just run the sauce through a sieve to catch them.

Pull off heat and add liquor. Pour in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, so that it sits on the surface. Refrige till cool. Best to be made the day before, so it can really cool. Can be made several days ahead.  

Merry Christmas

Pantry tree 

   Merry Christmas


I pray this is a blessed Christmas for each of you. Our Christmas was wonderful, relaxed and very yummy. The grand marnie frozen semifreddo was to die for. I ate a cookie (actually a lot of them) and thought of all of you xoxoxox

PS. This is my favorite tree this year, my pantry tree. It is simple but I love it. The tray by the way was a $1.00 find at the Christmas House !!!!!


Place-setting Trees

Fabric tree

At Christmas dinner, I like to have a little gift for each person to take home. Last year it was vintage wall-paper stockings (which I realize I never posted. I will do a tutorial after Christmas on them. They really turned out amazing) , the year before it was figgy pudding boxes. This year it is little fabric trees. I am displaying them in my kitchen window till Christmas dinner. Then each place setting will have a tree they can take home. These were really easy and fun to make. I wish I could give each of you one xoxox

Christmas Napkins

Christmas Napkin 

For our Christmas table this year, I used vintage buckles and ribbon for the napkin rings. I saw these wonderful napkins by Elizabeth Maxson in the December Romantic Home mag. They were  napkins with sugar cookies recipes printed on them. I love them, so I toke old vintage napkins and a fine-tip Sharpe and I simple wrote out a gingerbread recipe on each napkin. I think we will be able to use these each year. If I need more, it will be easy enough to write.

I am enjoying on my Christmas morning unwrapping gifts, gingerbread bread pudding and smooching my family. I hope you are relaxed and enjoying thislast day of getting ready for Christmas xoxoxox

I Can Not Leave One Spot Undecorated

Christmas bathroom

Well I had promised my hubby after last years pink Christmas, no pink this year. But after I decorated the whole house, all I had left was my pink stuff. So hubby was generous to let me use pink in the bathroom ;-)

It is kind of hard to see, but the garland over the window has a piece finger knitted by Auberne`. What is cool about it, is it is pink crepe paper. It actually knitted really well. I just ran some ribbon through it and hung my vintage ornaments. It is really much prettier in person (It is soo hard to take pictures in this bathroom). Thank you again Auberne`, keep that creative brain going !!!!!

On the garland around the sink, I collected fabric gifts from you readers. Stockings, strawberries, stuffed heart, pom-pom, coasters, handkerchief holder. It actually worked really well. Thank you ladies xoxox

PS. This morning I woke up to a good 6 inchs snow and no winds. It is just stunning and we have power. This will be a perfect day !!! 

Christmas bathroom 2 

Christmas bathroom 3 

Christmas bathroom 4


Owl tree 2 

I just love my owl trees with the wool owls the girls and I make. I tried to keep everything neutral white, gold, silver, with just a touch of robins egg blue. I had planned a garland with this beautiful variegated blue ribbon I had. But I just did not get to it. More ideas then I have time.

A Tip.Group a lot of something you have for Christmas. Even if it is not Christmasy, like owls or red china, it will work. Use what you have oxox 

Owl tree 

Shoe room

Where Else Can I Put A Pom-Pom ?

Cany cane table 

In November I just made a bunch of pom-poms and rose'ets with really not any specific ideas. I just wanted them on hand and I knew I would find a way to use them. I set them in among a bowl of ornaments.

Pom pom banner 

Tied them to a big bow. (Isn't that stocking cute. Sorry, it was Auberne` who made it for her dad last year, I had to mama brag)

Pom pom banner 2

To keep in the yarn theme, Auberne` finger-knitted me a length to use as garland. It turned out great, smart idea. Thank you sweetie xoxox   

Candy cane softe 

I thought I would share my candy cane softie., I have not made a softie before and probably will not again. As you can see, I am not very good at it. But since I believe it is the process of trying something, that is important, not the end results. I am sharing it with all of you !!!

Pom pom tag 

Of course pom-poms make great bows on packages. Here I added on to a rose'et. Not bad for $5.00 worth of yarn.

We have had snow, ice, cold and I guess we are in for a big whooper of a storm this weekend. I am hoping to gets some posts written and ready to go today. But if for some reason, I do not post, it is because of the storm. I hope it is not too bad, our Christmas eve is Monday. Thank you for all the well wishes. I am slowly feeling better. Have a cookie and think of me  xoxox

Gingerbread Tags

Gingerbread tags 

I am stuck on the couch with a cold, yuckkkk. So I am trying to do Christmas stuff, while passed out. I am making Gingerbread Tags, soooo easy. Just take a cookie cutter, trace out the shape. To make the buttons, use the eraser on a pencil and some red paint. We also ran around the edges, a chalk pastel to give it a more finished look  xoxoxox

Christmas Menu's

Christmas eve menu

Christmas dinner menu

Most of these I do not have a recipe. But I tried to find what I could in similar recipes. Feel free to ask questions. xoxoxo

Gingerbread bread pudding Which I will assemble the night before and bake in a bain marie at 320.

Gingerbread, which I baked3 days ahead, so the bread can dry out a bit. I love a gingerbread that uses both fresh, candied and dried ginger.  

Mushroom soup, I used tarragon instead of thyme. I made this a week ahead and froze it. When I reheat it, I will then add the cream and sherry part.

Grapefruit sorbet 

Grand Marnier Semifreddo

More Wee Wonderful fun

Christmas child cab 

Some more corners of my home. I almost sorry I gave Chloe this metal child's china cabinet. I am sooooo in-love with it. She was kind of enough to let me "borrow" it for Christmas.  Do you see the rhinestone Santa. My MIL gave that to me when David and I were dating. She said it screamed me. That tell you a lot about the princess I use to be. I almost remember that girl ;-p

Paula christmas quilt

I have made it a rule now to not post gifts I get (it got tooo crazy) but some gifts are just to wonderful and have a lot of work and time put into them, to not be shared.This mini-Wee Wonderful quilt by Paula is one of them. Look at this, isn't it just smashing. Paula, had asked me all about my theme this year and sent me this. It is amazing and Paula is amazing to have made it. Plus, it was my colors, classic red and green, candy canes , yo-yo (which is a ornament and I pinned it to the quilt) and Wee Wonderful. Thank you sweetie for being so generous with me and all the work you put into this. It is perfect (and you stiching is soo straight) I love it xoxoxox

Even My Lamp Is Gussied For Christmas

Christmas lamp 

I gussied up my lamp, again. I love it so much, I am thinking I need to make an apron like this. This wonderful vintage trim by the way, is from Edge To Edge (and I saw there was still some when I was there). All I did is make tucks in the trim and pin it from under the fabric (there is a zillion pins under there). I covered it with ribbon. This way when I move on to a new look (and you know I will) I just unpin it all.

Christmas lamp back 

I also made new little curtains for my craft area. All I did was take the old drapes and cut small ones. I did not hem, I am lazy. I just sewed the pom-pom's on the side and hung them up with thumb tacks. It took like 15 minutes. Easy, peasy !!!

Christmas curtian

Christmas House Find

Winter wonder 

We woke up this morning to a sugar dusting of snow. I went out (at 8, akkk), waked across the street, on the bridge and took this photo. I am busy today cooking and filling up my freezer for Chirstmas (I will post my menu soon). A perfect day, ahhhhhh.

Picture 064 

I was going to be a good girl this year and not go to the Christmas House. Because there is no way I can go to the Christmas House and only look and not purchases. It is physically impossible ;-) But dear hubby (and a good girlfriend, isn't that what girlfriend's are for) insisted I go. He said it would not be Christmas if I did not go. Thank goodness for him (I need to make him some Guinness chocolate cake) because I scored the most amazing dishes. 17 piece, $20.00 for these beautiful silhouette china. Plus I felt oh, so, trendy, when I saw an whole layout in the January Country Living all about how hot silhouette's are xoxox

Pom-pom Garland

Pompom garland 

Yeah, I have my new camera (when I will see my lap top, who knows). Let the Christmas sharing begin  ;-) So my inspiration this year was blogs like Wee Wonderful, Allsorts, Inspireco, Loobylu, Posie Gets Cozy. To me when I think of these blogs, I think of rick rack, pom-poms, gingham, yo-yo's, polk-a-dot's and lots of red. I looks to these elements to inspire me. Also, as I am sure the rest of you, I have to spend as little as possible. I really needed to use what I had or make the most of what I bought. 

Pompom garland 2

I started with a pound of cheap red yarn and made a bunch of pom-pom's. From little to giant. Also small bits of fabric. I was going to make yo-yo's but I found it easier (since I made a lot) to cut small strips and gather them into rosette's. I left the edges raw.


The first thing I made was a garland. I simply left long yarn tails on my pom-poms and tied them together. Then glued the rosette's to the yarn. I love the green and red candy stripped fabric with the red polk-a-dots. Speaking of garlands go check out Nesting Place Garland Show and Tell. I will be back with more xoxox



Pompom garland 2

Edge to Edge

Edge to edge 

I am very sad to post that my favorite store in Port Townsend, Edge to Edge is closing at the end of the month. Joan has such an unbelievable selection on vintage trim, buttons, felted wool, wall paper and soooooooooo much more. It is any crafter, altered arts person dream store. Hopefully Joan will open an Esty store. But if you get a chance to stop by before the end of the month, please do. Edge to Edge is on Water street and open everyday but Wednesday. Please tell her Clarice sent you. It really does break my heart this store is closing. There is nothing else like it around her and I just love Joan xoxoxo

Saint Lucia Unit



This is a unit I wrote 4 years ago, I decided I need to post it here. As you can see, we are very hands-on in school. I hope it inspires you.

I am lucky enough to live in Poulsbo, WA.which is a Norwegian town and is steeped in wonderful traditions. One of our favorites is at Christmas time. Poulsbo is on Liberty Bay and Saint Lucia is brought in on a Viking boat across the bay. It is sooo beautiful to see the torches from the boat and the lights from Saint Lucia's crown reflecting on the water. Saint Lucia is escorted off the boat by Vikings dressed in full gear to a bonfire which is lit. Needless to say my daughters have always been enchanted by this and this year Chloe (8) gets to be Saint Lucia. I wanted to take all these beautiful ideas and put them in a unit for our family. We will be scrapbooking this and hopefully it will be something wonderful Aubern'e and Chloe will always remember. 


I am grouping this unit by ideas. We will be reading lots of books and watching videos as we do this study. I will list the books and videos we used at the end. We are very hands on in our units. There is so much more we could have done but I have tailored this unit to fit the interests of our family. Hopefully this will be a jump off point for you.

The Ideas.....



Idea 1. Julbock-Goat

Julbock is the goat that Jultomten (Elf, like Santa) rides. There is a site on line that shows, step by step, a straw goat being made. 

 Wheat weaving crafts


Idea 2. Marzipan and Pig

There is wonderful tradition about giving a marzipan pig for good luck. We will make marzipan pigs (and maybe Santa will put one in the girls stockings, if they have been good :)

Marzipan candy  


Idea 3. Baking Cookies

Baking is such a Swedish and Norwegian tradition. There are hundreds of cookies we could bake (and will) but we will bake Peppernuts. The girls have never made them, so they will be new to them. I have a wonderful little book called " Peppernuts Plain and Fancy " by Normas Jost Voth. Which has lots of information and has 2 dozen recipes. We are going to cut our dough with a thimble. You do not have to cut the cookies this small. Here is a recipe from the book.

      Mrs. H. C. Unruh's Yule Peppernuts

      1 cup butter                   1 tsp. cinnamon
      1 cup sugar                    1/2 tsp. cloves
      1 cup brown sugar         1/4 tsp. mace
      3 eggs, beaten                3/4 cup chopped nuts
      1 lemon rind, grated        1 tsp. baking soda
      1/2 tsp. anise oil             1/4 tsp. finally ground pepper

      Pre-heat oven 350* F.
      Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Sift dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to butter. Add nuts, anise, and peel. Roll dough thin and cut with thimble. Place cookies on greased baking sheet. Bake till lightly brown. 
 Here is a nice story about peppernuts..... 



Idea 4. Julenek

"Julenek," a sheaf of grain Norwegians place outside for the birds each Christmas.

We will make a Julenek. A lovely picture



Idea 5. Light

We will talk about how God's light plays a part in Christmas. Then we will make a gingerbread lantern .
A little different lantern.



Idea 6. Heart

Love plays a part of Christmas. Make Hjertekurver Swedish woven hearts. Directions for the woven heart. Here are some patterns of different types of hearts.



Idea 7. Language

Star - Stjärna {shair'-nuh } 

English/Swedish Christmas dictionary



Idea 8. Royalty

The Royal House of Norway

 The Royal Court of Sweden



Idea 9. Jultomten

Jultomten is a Christmas elf who bring presents (like Santa).

We made a Jultomten out of pine cones. Glue a wooden bead (for a head) of the top (pointed end) of a pine cone (the body). You can paint a face on the bead if you want. Glue a tuft of wool for a beard and make a little red cap out of wool.

There is a tradition of setting out a bowl of Julgrot (Christmas rice pudding) for Jultomten on Christmas eve.



Idea 10. Dalahast

Dala horse is a most recognizable symbol of Sweden. It is a painted horse.

Since I could not get these unpainted, I made them myself. They are a very simple shape. I made an armature out of foil and covered it with paper clay. After it dried, the girls could paint them themselves. Here you can see what they look like.



Idea 11. Finally, Saint Lucia

We will make a wreath for Chloe. I think I will wrap twinkle lights around a small wreath for her to wear on her head. There are wreaths with electric candles you can buy as well.

This is a great Saint Lucia site

 We will also make a star boy hat 

Paper crown and star boy hat

And of course Lussekatter, Lucia Buns
 In Scandinavian homes, the feast of St. Lucia (Dec 13) is marked by the serving of these buns. Traditionally, they are served by a young girl wearing a wreath with lighted candles on her head.

Here is a wonderful recipe from Sombra, Thank you Sombra !!!!

St. Lucia Buns 

      dried yeast 2 TBLS
      sugar 1tsp
      Lukewarm water 1/2 cup
      light cream 1 1/4 cup
      saffron threads 1/4 tsp
      sugar 3/4 cup
      flour 6 1/2 cups
      butter 1/2 cup
      ground cardamom 1 tsp
      ground blanched almonds 1/2 cup
      eggs 2
      dark seedless raisins 1/2 cup
      egg yolk 1

      Dry the saffron on a saucer in a 250 oven for 15 - 20 minutes and then crumble it with the back of a spoon. Hull the cardamom seed (reserving the pods) and grind the seeds in a mortar.

      Proof the yeast with the 1 tsp sugar in the lukewarm water. Scald the cream almost to the boiling point with the pods of the cardamom. Strain off the pods and discard. Add the saffron, remaining sugar, and butter and let stand. When lukewarm add the beaten eggs. Check temperature and add proofed yeast. Mix ground cardamom with flour and add to yeast mixture, beaten until dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Turn out and let rest covered with the bowl for 15 minutes. Kneed on a well floured board until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl; cover and let rise till double. Punch down, turn out and work in raisins, reserving a few for decoration. Roll the dough into pencil thin strips and shape, as given on the opposite page, for traditional buns. Place on greased baking sheets, covered with a tea towel, and let rise till double. Brush with egg yolk beaten with 1 tbls of water Bake 12-15 minutes in 400 oven.

      The shapes for the St. Lucia buns have these names:

      Wagon Wheel
      Cut two strips 10 inches long. Place side by side, pinch together at center and coil ends. Place Raisins in center of each coil. (you'll have 4 coils joined together.

      Joseph's Beard
      Cut three strips, one 10 inches long, one 8 inches and one 6 inches. Bend shortest strip into an upside down U shape with the ends flipped up into coils. Place second longest strip underneath the U and form it into a similar shape with the ends coiled.. then do it again with the longest one.

      Cut one strip 8 inches long. Coil each end in opposite directions. Place raisin in center of each coil. 

      Cut one strip 10 inches long. Pinch at center to make a v. Coil each end downward to make horns. Place raisins in center of coil.

      Lucia Cross
      Cut two strips 6 inches long. Cross them to form an X and coil ends. Place raisins in center of each coil. 

      Star of Bethlehem
      Cut two strips 10 inches long. Shape each into a triangle. Lay one over the other, pointing in opposite directions.

      Berachah, ('blessing' in Hebrew) 


List of Sites, Videos, Books



Victorian Saint Lucia postcards 



Kristin Paper doll, click on image and save




Christmas in norway

 My favorite DVD is:   "Christmas in Norway"   


"Rogaland : The Jewel of Norway A Musical Portrait"   by Jan Kurtis Skugstad

 "The Spirit of Sweden"  by Ed Lark



Books by Carl Larson


Lucia Morning in Sweden by Ewa Rydåker  

Once upon             

Another favorite Once Upon A Christmas Time by Thyra Ferre' Bjorn,  author of Papa's Wife


Annika's Secret Wish by Beverly Lewis     



Christmas in Noisy Villageby Astrid  Lindgren 


Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett       

Make a Hedgie basket to go with story

Ekte Norsk Jul Vol. 1,2, &3: Traditional Norwegian Christmas   

Norwaycolor  Swedencolor
Norway Coloring Book, Sweden Coloring Book By:Sevig, Kirsten
   More than just a coloring book, these 48-page books include crafts, recipes, songs, and traditions as well.

My Village in Norway by Sonia and Tim Gildal

Children of the Soil By Nora Burglon. This is a vintage book about a Scandinavian family.

Kristen, The American Girl books

Peppernuts Plain and Fancy by Normas Jost Voth

Olaf and Anne by Virginia Olcott

The Legend of the Christmas Rose

and another
 Thank you for the idea Susan!

Lastly I get a lot of e-mails of people looking for battery run crowns. Nordic Maiden, in Poulsbo carries them. It is a wonderful shop (we go in all the time). Please tell them Storybook Woods sent you.

Also thank you to Jody, who had hosted my unit on her site for several years xoxox 



Okay, what more could happen. No, my lap top is still not working and now I dropped my camera. I can not blog without my camera. I so much to share and no camera. Plus today is our Thanksgiving and no camera. The only good thing about all this, is I am getting a new and better camera. But who knows when it will come in the mail. So as I have been saying, be patient with me. I will be back soon. I am off to eat lots of stuffing and butter tarts (I hate turkey, I am soooo wierd) xoxoxox