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December 2009

A Year Of Storybook Woods 2009

I can not believe it is the end of 2009, this year went by fast. I am grateful for the blog, because it is a wonderful way to see what was happening in the past year. I was freaking out about 2009 because Auberne`turned 18 and I was just not ready. But it really has been a lovely year, both my girls have really grown this year. I see them both becoming amazingly creative and giving women. We are becoming more and more friends, enjoying each other company, kindred spirits. I am not ready to look forward yet, I want to savor this past year for just a bit more. Here is a list of my favorite posts each month. Happy New Year, I would love to hear what you loved about this last year xoxox

PS. I am so embarrassed, I was not asking what of my blog you liked, I mean what about your life this past year did you love !!!

Candy cane syrup

January: Candy Cane Syrup

Cut up sweater
February: I Cut Up A Sweater

Shillotte cakeplate

March: Silhouette Cake Plate

Lavender seabeck

April: Lavender Seabeck

Esprsso sugar 

May: Espresso Sugar

Sewing themed
June: Sewing Themed Party 

Outdoor washing
July: Outdoor Washing Station 

Out apple
August: Out With The Apple Green  

Make popciorn

September: Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn

October: Cosette 

Wool flower 

November: Wool Flower Tutorial

 Woodland box
December: Woodland Box 

Bock Choi with Sherry and Prosciutto

Christmas hats 

Hello, I hope you had a blessed and yummy Christmas, we did. No drama, just relaxing and low key. The girls got dressed up. Auberne` made the sweetest hat and Chloe even made Elisabeth (her doll) a hat from an MnM container. Good reuse Chloe !!!! 

This year's dinner was really good. My mother was afraid the chicken with cranberries and pears would be sweet, but it was not. It was rich and earthy. The dish everyone loved the most was the bock choi. But I do want to apologize because when I went to read the bock choi recipe I had posted, I realized it was not what I though and would not go with the dinner. So here is my recipe xoxoxo 

 Christmas hats 2


Bock Choi with Sherry and Prosciutto

12 baby bock choi, cut in half

1/4 cup dry sherry

3 think slices of prosciutto, chopped

Heat 3 TBL olive oil in a large pan on hight till pan is very hot. Set bock choi cut side down in hot oil. Let it brown for a few seconds. If you can not put them all in at one time, pulling them out and set the bock choi on a platter. Add oil as needed till all pieces are browned on high heat.

Then put bock choy in pan again, quick pour sherry over the bock choi, sprinkle prosciutto over bock choi and cover with lid. Turn down heat to low and let cook two minutes. Check tenderness. I like it still a bit crunchy, but cook to your liking. Add some pepper and enjoy.

Woodland Place-setting Box

Woodland box 
I want to thank all of you for putting up with all my woodland posts. I had a lot of fun with this theme, but this is my last idea to share. I will say there was still soooooo many ideas I did not get to, such as making felt pillows that looked like a slice of wood, pinecone and pom-pom garland, wood tags and ornaments, 4 foot frosted branches stuck in my Christmas tree and so much more. I think I needed Martha's team to help me or AA for Christmas decorating !!! 

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This last idea is a woodland box that is both a place-setting card and a gift. I always love to have a little gift for everyone at Christmas dinner. In past years I have had figgy pudding box, pastel paper stockings and last year, little fabric trees. What I love about these is every year it reminds us of a past years. I always put a popper and chocolate with them.  I am sooo over-the-moon with these boxes. Just to let you know I got the deer and tree from Sweet Treat Supplies and I made the mushrooms from fimo clay.

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After a month of posting just about every day (I had a lot to share didn't I) I am going to take a week off, enjoy Christmas, recoup, refresh, plan next years theme  ;-) I wish each of you dear readers (because you are all dear friends to me) a blessed Christmas. I know this is a hard time for some of you, a bittersweet time. I hope there will be more sweetness then bitter for you this Christmas. 

Merry Christmas each and every one of you. I wish we could all celebrate together (because you all know how I want to feed all of you). Eat something yummy and think of me xooxoxox

Woodland Menu

Woodland menue

This is our Christmas dinner, Christmas eve we will have cheese fondue and lots of cookies. Christmas morning is gingerbread overnight orange baked french toast, scrambled eggs with whatever goodies you want in your eggs and bacon. So what are you making ??? xoxox

Chicken breast with cranberries and pears in a cream sauce is from Susan Branch Christmas book

Wild rice hazelnut pilaf

Bock Choi with Sherry and Prosciutto

Individual Bouche De Noel

Orange cream brulee

Individual Bouche De Noel

Woodland cakeeeee 

Well I had all you facebook readers grossed out, when I said I was creating something with chocolate, whipped cream and mushrooms. That does sound like an oh-so-interesting combination. But what would a woodland themed Christmas be without a yule log cake, Bouche De Noel ? I decided liked the idea of making individual Bouche De Noel. I also wanted to figure out how I could make it, but do most of the work ahead of time. I always try to pick recipes for the holidays were I can do a lot of the cooking ahead. It keeps me from doing too much last minute and therefor I am a happy hostess.

Wood cake

1. I decided instead of making a rolled, filled cake, I would just made a chocolate mayo cake and cut it into small individual cakes with a biscuit cutter. I made these a week ahead and froze them. I will pull them out on Christmas morning. I also made chocolate curls the same day and am keeping them in the fridge.

2. On Christmas morning, besides pulling out the cakes, I will set up all the dessert plate with pieces of wax paper to catch all the extra whipped cream and coco powder. I also will make the whipped cream. Homemade whipped cream made with heavy cream will hold all day in the fridge.

3. After dinner, I will get a few people to help and we will set up a assembly line.

4. Take your cake and set it in the center of the wax paper pieces.  Start spreading the whipped cream on the side but NOT the top * then take coco powder and a sieve and dust the whipped cream. Run a fork up the side of the cream to make lines.

* one thing I learned doing this cake is the coco powder that gets on the top of the cake, makes it hard to spread the whipped cream on top. So I suggest cutting a circle from wax paper and set it on the top while you do the coco powder part.

5. Now spread whipped cream over the top. I put a few chocolate chips in a sandwich baggie and zapped it in the microwave 40 second to melt it. I cut off the tip of the baggie and pipe circles of chocolate on the top.

6. CAREFULLY pull out the wax paper pieces, one at a time and throw away. Add chocolate curls and mushrooms. About the mushrooms, I am lucky to have a grocery store with a large Asian section that has chocolate mushrooms and that is what I used.

Woodland cake

I know this sounds complicated, but really with some ahead prep time and a couple of friends it is very easy. As you can see I did not try to make it perfect, I did not stress about frosting and if some of these steps seem like too much just skip it. Make is fun for you, work with what is comfortable for you. That is a big part of cooking and entertaining. I hope you are not burned out on woodland ideas, I only have two more to share xoxoxo 

Faux-Bois Wrapping Paper Tutorial

Faux bois paperrrrrrrrrrrrr

So you know I had to come up with some wrapping to go with my woodland theme. I though faux-bois paper would be perfect. I looked around and all I could find was a bit more then I wanted to do. Plus I did not want to spend the money on one of those wood grain tools ;-)  I thought, there has to be a simpler way to do this. So here is what I did. I bet you could come up with an even more beautiful then I did.

I simple took a silver sharpie pen and drew with irregular, long circles, with a smaller circle inside. The add a bunch of wavy lines. Perfect ?  no !!! But it gives the feel and was sooo very doable. 

In the fall I had took a bunch of pine cones, drilled a hole in the top and added eye screws. I simply ran some beautiful ribbon through the screw and made a lovely topper for the package. Beauty does not have to be complicated, just thoughtful xoxox

Faux bois paper 4

Woodland Wreath

Woodland wreath 4

Thank you for all the prayers and kind thoughts. The appointment went well. Some good news, some bad news. But over all it was good and she will have two women cardiologist, so that is cool. Now I will just look forward to focusing on these last days of Christmas. This has been a stressful time. I have tried to focus on the blessing, but now it will be much easier.
Woodland wreath 5

One good thing about my woodland theme, is my property is full of wood, pine cones, holly, moss and more moss. I wish I could say this wreath was my idea but it is not. I saw this wreath and loved it. This is another elf from David's childhood and a huge mushroom from the Christmas House. I did not worry about fully covering the straw wreath. You know moss grows and covers things in an irregular pattern, so this seemed more realistic to me. I am sooo thrilled with this wreath.

Woodland wreath 33

I hope you have a blessed day, I am hoping to start wrapping gifts today xoxoxo
Woodland wreath 2

Woodland Cakeplate

Woodland cake plate 

Thank you sooo much loving my snow tree, I had fun making it. This is another project that David's injury sort of wreaked. I had plans on making a wood cake plate (here is another one), but the top involved using the chain saw (I wanted a big cake plate and I am not allowed to go near sharp things ;-) So again I improvised. David and I were able to cut the bottom with a ban saw. I wanted a large flat surface. The problem with plates is they are not totally flat. I ended up using the top of a large tin. Which I used upside down so I could keep the moss damp and not have water running off the plate.

I added some fun trees, a little house, deers, holly berries, fake snow. I am very happy with it. BUT I tell you when David can use a chain saw again, I am sooo making a cake plate.

Please be praying for Auberne`, she is going to a new cardiologist today. It is always nerve wracking to go to a new cardiologist, but we are hoping she will be a better fit for Auberne`. Thank you xoxoxox

Wood land cakeplate
Woodland cakeplate copy 

Wood land cake plate

Snow Tree


Good morning. Well I hope you are warmer then we are. We woke up this morning with the heater out and it will not be repaired till tomorrow. Luckily we have a wood stove, we will just hang out in front of it, crafting. A few of you sweetie, asked about the smoked salt caramels, I just used the recipe linked above and used smoked salt instead. I used the amount of salt called for in the recipe, but I sprinkled a few more gains on each piece as we wrapped them up. They are amazing, thank you Angie for your caramel craze. You are forever my foodie friend and partner in crime  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Snow Tree Tutorial

This is my last tree to share. I do not even remember where I saw it, but I saw this tiny peek of part of a tree in a magazine and it inspired this snow tree. It is very easy to do. I cut out a bunch of wool felt leaves and pined them on a foam tree. If you click on the photo below and you can see the detail better. I cut leaves about 1 1/2 " wide and 1 1/2" deep with pinking shears. I just overlap the top corners and pinned then down. Use white pins (I used color so you could see what I did). I set the point of the leaf to cover the pin below and did this about two thirds up the tree. Then I switched to longer, narrower pieces, about 2" long and 3/4" wide. I pined those as what looked good. Cut a small round piece for the top. Glue it down and then glued the tree to a cut piece of wood. I was going to frost the tips, but decided I liked it better plain. But I could change my mind any minute ;-P

Have a warm day and I will be back soon with a LOT more to share xoxo 


Felt Tree

Felt trees

Good morning, hubby went back to work last night and survived. I finally got a good night sleep, ahhh. I LOVE Thompson Family-life's look. Her style is sooo much fun and I had to make one of her trees. I think I want to make a second one with more wild colors next. Oh the possibilities.

I am still hoping to make these felt trees and these too !!!

Today is a stay at home cooking day. We are hoping to get made layered peppermint bark, smoked salt caramels and espresso cookies. What are you up to today ??? xox


Wool Tree

Wool tree 3

So what is a woodland theme without trees ?? My goal was to do a different tree each month of this past year, I did not make that goal. But over the next few days I do have some trees to share. This is a wool tree. I was gifted with some wool sweaters that were felted. I got a very large nail and started cutting circles from the sweaters. I cut a small slit in the center, for the nail.

I just keep making smaller and smaller circles and stacking them. I found the more irregular the circles the better the tree looks (well in my opinion). This would be a fun craft for kids. I thought I would need to glue the nail on some base, but I found the tree stand just fine on their own. I glue a seed pod to the top, easy !!!! Here is another fun stacking felt tree, have fun playing.

I hope you are having a lovely week. We are not Jewish but my father's family is. I have never meet my fathers parents, they died when he was a teen. But I was named after my grandmother Claire. My grandfather Isadore was a baker and I always felt a connection to them. So every year we have a Hanukkah dinner to remember them and family lost in the Holocaust. Tonight we will have what we always have, matzo ball soup and latkes. I am going to make a roasted vanilla pear sauce to go over the latkes with sour cream. Heaven xoxox

Wool tree 2

Woodland Tea

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Hello, we did have a magical woodland tea on Saint Nickolas day. You have asked what I got at Christmas house, well two things I got was this mushroom house and tree. I thought they went well with my theme.


The elf is one of several we have from when David was a boy. I made the toadstools from fimo. I love this deer and got several from The Thin Veil.
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Now I had big ideas for this woodland themed Christmas, THEN my hubby had to go and have his accident and not be able to use his arm. Well that threw huge monkey wrench into all my plans. So I simplified.

The wooden candler holders are much more simple then I had evisioned, but they still work.  I just found a great log from our wood pile that my red candles would sit on. David and Auberne` helped me cut them into pieces.
Woodland candles 

Another plan I had was to get fabric that looked like brown bark and make a runner with red rick-rack on the edge. Sighhhh, I let that go to. So instead took a pretty Christmas tablecloth and fold it into thirds to use as a runner.

IMG_6697 copy 

Add my cottages (holding ginger cookies and sugar bowl, thank you Becky), a gnome plate from my mother and it was quite a woodland tea. My mother made her delish St. Nicholas chicken salad which we served on gluten free biscuits (I am working on a recipe), chocolates, pate and cheese. It was very festive. I encourage all of you to try to take a little time each day to enjoy the season. Even if your home is not coming together (like mine) enjoy what you have, where you are at, enjoy the moment. Because this is a magical time, even without a perfect home. Now I am off to have a cup of tea and enjoy my half decorated kitchen ;-)  xoxoxo


PS Check out Home for the Holidays at Southern Hospitality

Silhouette Tree

Sill tree 22

Thank you for all the sweet comments about my entry. Here is the other side and my silhouette tree. I thought since I already have my silhouette dishes up, I should make the most of them.

Sill tree

Sill tree 3

I already had the cake plate with the urn and dried hydrangeas, so again using what I had. Add a small white tree, whatever black ribbon and lace I could find. Oh and I used a hankie to cover the base of the tree.

Sill tree 4

I also cut out silhouettes with a large scalloped hole puncher. I find just poking a hold in the top with a pin and running a metal ornament hook through works best. Then you can bend those hooks to get your ornaments to face the way you want.

Click on image below and save in your pictures. Print up full page, set at shrink to fit. Next I will share a woodland tea xoxoxox


PS, Julie and Julia comes out today, I am heading to Target first thing this morning !!!!



Christmas Entry

Christmas welcomeeeeeeeeeeee

Welcome to Storybook Woods Christmas. My theme this year is woodland. I decided this the day after last Christmas and have been planning since (I know I am a loo-loo). My vision is lots of trees, moss, toadstools, gnomes, pinecones, deers, brown and green. Not really many Santa's, angels, candy canes, etc.

Christmas welcome

LOL, as you will see in my shoe-room though there is some Santa's and no woodland. I had to sneak those candy canes and Santa's in somewhere ;-)  You will see above my chalkboard a pip-cleaner garland, I got the idea from Design*Sponge but sadly mine did NOT turn out. BUT I firmly believe in embracing ones work (as I have said before) so I used it as it was.
Christ door 

Instead of a wreath for my front door, I came up with this little coin bag (One of my Christmas House finds this year). This is one of the my favorite things I did this year. I just opened it up, ran velvet ribbon through the side hinges, added some fresh holly and a Christmas pin and Wahlaa. A dab of tacky wax on the back of the clasp keep the purse stuck to the door. I will be back with more, a silhouette tree !!!! xoxoxo

Christmas door 2 

Christmas House day 5

Christmas house 2009 

Awww thank you for all the sweet comments about my lack of grammar and spelling skills (I still am not sure how I have a blog). It kills me I can not feed all of you to say thank you !!! Here is the last Christmas House photo. On Monday I will share my house.

I wish for all of you a relaxing, fun, yummy, memory-making weekend. I will probably be back at the Christmas House when you read this. I have family visiting on Saturday and Sunday we will have a Saint Nicolas tea. I will confess, I have not had time to bake anything except gluten free biscuits (that are amazing) so I stocked up on goodies at Trader Joe's for the tea. Oh and can I toot my own horn a bit. My candy cane syrup was featured on CRAFT. Plus David drive'd (that is not a word is it ??? ) today, no more carting him around. So I would say this will be an amazing weekend for me and I hope the same for each one of you. You are all such a gift to me and as I told some friends, "I embrace it all with a huge amount of gratitude" xoxoxox

Christmas House day 4

Christmas house 5 2009 

I hope you all realize this is not my house (I wish), this is a local boutique called the Christmas House. But I will share what I have been up to soon.

PS. I had a comment correcting my spelling and grammar, thank you for letting me know. I did want to share I have pretty severe dyslexia. I hesitated even starting a blog for a while because I knew this would be an issue. But I want you to know, it takes me a long time to write a post, even a simple one. I do my best to correct my mistakes, you should see the posts when I first write them  :-o . But I do not want to give the impression that I just casually write my post and am too lazy to check them. I put my heart in this blog and want it to be the best it can. So this is me good and bad. I hope it does not distract from the blog for you xoxox