Posts from the holiday Category

candy plate decorating gingerbread castle cinderella candy castle coach cinderella mice candy castle roof gumdrop snowman alienI’ll admit that I was not thrilled with the idea that my niece chose a prefab Cinderella castle kit from the store for our annual gingerbread session this year.  She loves to bake and is now old enough to see the project through from scratch.  I was looking forward to designing our own charming chalet or creative candy cottage a la Hansel and Gretel.  In the end, the gingerbread castle we put together from the kit still allowed for unique touches.  My favorite parts are the mice dancing on the roof and the alien-looking snowmen with the blue eyes (all from the brain of the sweet five-year-old).  I need to remember that these activities are, above all, about togetherness and that the outcome will inevitably be as unique and fabulous as the individuals involved.

plastic eggs and spring blooms racing toward the orange egg watering pail with plastic eggsThe colorful plastic eggs were not hard to find this year since most of nature is still brown. The egg hunting soon turned into egg tackling, as it became a race to the bright treasures. “I recovered three from my sister’s fumble,” my nephew cheered triumphantly.

2 emptied eggs with pin holes 3 paint egg with mod podge 4 mod podge confetti egg 5 confetti egg close in pink egg carton  confetti spilling out from broken egg

It is the time of year here when colors start to appear from the grey and brown landscape like confetti strewn along streams and parkways. I had a bag of confetti left over from New Year’s Eve, so I put it use for Easter, a celebration of new life.  Originally I planned to cover my eggs on the outside until I learned about cascarones: eggs that are filled on the inside with confetti.  Why not celebrate on the inside and the outside?  More fun: a game with Cascarones at Oh Happy Day!   The story goes that having a cascarón broken over your head will bring good luck.  Depending on how much confetti coverage you get, you will have disco eggs, which calls for a little disco duck.

Blowing out eggs from last year… this year I made lime custard with the empties!

bourbon soak golden raisin cup

x bourbon and golden raisin cup
At the end of my rainbow at the moment are little pots of golden raisins. Usually I just eat them by the handful and add them to Cream of Rice hot cereal, but since a holiday is coming up, I currently have a batch of the little tart wrinkly white grapes soaking in a bath of bourbon. Today they have been busy plumping up and spiking up before being baked in a batch of Irish Oatmeal cookies for Saint Patrick’s Day. I also just liked how they were glowing in the sunshine yesterday. May the wind be at your back, dear friends.

Update: cookie success!

irish oatmeal cookie rainbow plate

stack of starburst for valentinevalentine starburstvalentine starburst writing tablestarburst valentine two hearts envelopeI made it to the post office in the nick of time this weekend to mail off my simple sweet valentines in time for the 14th. I hope they like their favorite juicy Starburst flavors put together to make heart shapes. You can make your own Starburst hearts by gluing (I used Elmer’s) three Starburst on a piece of heavy paper (I used fluorescent poster board cut to fit a long envelope). Candy tiles and juicy hearts!

1 globe red heart sticker

globe striped heart close

3 wrapping paper heart accordion stencil

4 globe gold wrapping paper hearts

gold hearts globe up close
I did a little apartment decorating using heart stickers and heart garland (made by accordion-folding used wrapping paper before cutting the heart shape). While I attached them to my globes I thought of all of the people in all of the world and how all of those people have hearts for feeling. Anne Mansfield Sullivan was Helen Keller’s teacher who explained to her that “the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart.” Hope you feel the love across the globe.

a vintage bead of silver bellsbox shiny brite ornament tin moldsfrosted sprinkle sugar cookieslamp post with colored bulbssnowman tableShiny Brite ornaments were the most popular Christmas tree ornaments made in the 1940’s and 1950’s in the United States. I have an original box set that my grandma gave to me when I had my first apartment, and Christmas tree, of my own. Those ornaments hark back to the time when she and her sisters were the age that I am today. I always keep an eye out for them in antique stores, and it makes me wonder what will evoke memories of Christmases past when I am in my eighties.

It is easy to feel homesick around the holidays, because it’s often a mile marker for realizing that things are never going to be the same. For others, the times seem more joyous and precious than ever, and I need to keep that in mind. I am just missing people right now, but on New Year’s Eve, I’ll raise my cup to the shiny nostalgic memories and hopes for unexpectedly brite futures.

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