Painted Pumpkins

It's so Orange

It’s so Orange

So by now, anything orange is out. In decorating for the holidays that is. I bought an armload of pumpkins with the intention of eating them before Christmas decorating began.

Lo and behold, I found five mini pumpkin stragglers stuck in on a side table centerpiece. They were so, well, orange.

My colors this year are lime green and burgundy. Quite traditional, don’t you think? These pumpkins, while still nice shapes, firm and pleasing to look at, they were still so orange.

So I painted them. I painted them gold and silver. The silver required a white base coat to cover the orange but the orange on the gold ones became an “inner glow”.

Getting the paint job

Getting the paint job

After the paint dried (three coats, thin ones) crackle glaze was applied and allowed to dry overnight. Then the next morning, I smothered them with Mod-Podge Gloss Medium to make them shine.

Painted Pumpkins Lined up to dry

Painted Pumpkins Lined up to dry

After they were dry, I put them in the middle of another table arrangement.

Personally, I think they dress up nicely for the holidays!

Silver Painted Pumpkin

Silver Painted Pumpkin

Part of the Painted Pumpkin arrangement

Part of the Painted Pumpkin arrangement

Fresh Herb Wreath

DSC_0007Making a fresh herb wreath is easy and very fragrant. I love fresh herbs which is why I grow them, lots of them. If you don’t grow them now, consider starting a herb garden. It will save you a ton of money, you will always have fresh herbs on hand and you can have enough to make things like this. So grow yourself a money-saving herb garden.

You will be dizzy with how great this smells!

Herbs: Thyme, oregano and rosemary

Herbs: Thyme, oregano and rosemary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To make a fresh herb wreath, you will need:

  • 1 wire wreath frame
  • 1 package of fine floral wire
  • a bunch of fresh herbs
  • Whole garlic and shallots, not peeled

Cover your work space with paper to catch all the leaves that she during the wiring process.

Lay the wreath form on the paper and start attaching bundles of herbs to the frame.

For this wreath I used fresh Thyme and Rosemary.

Overlapping the ends of the herbs, fill the frame all the way around.

With a skewer, pierce a hole through the bottom of the garlic and shallots. Thread a floral wire through the hold and attach the garlic and shallots to the herb frame.

English: Christmas Wreath Being Made

English: Christmas Wreath Being Made (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A basket of garlic (allium sativum) o...

English: A basket of garlic (allium sativum) offered for sale at the farmers’ market in Rochester, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tie a ribbon and hang. I made a small wire loop on the back of floral wire for the hanger.

The herbs will dry. You can use this in cooking if you like, but I am only using it for decoration this year.

It smells so good!

Fresh Herb Wreath

Fresh Herb Wreath

In My Kitchen December 2012

And so here it is, near the end of the year. I love the holidays.

The Christmas china gets put in the cabinets to use on a daily basis, parties get planned and attended, my son comes home and all is good.

Cheesecake on Christmas China

Cheesecake on Christmas China

In my kitchen are fantastic cookie cutters for making sugar cookies. The cookies will be decorated and given to anyone who visits. There are impression cutters and outline cutters. The impression cutters are my favorites; they have been around my kitchen since 1978 and get used every year. I love filling in the designs with all kinds of colors and sparkling sugar. Since I am making some today,  a post on them will soon follow.

All kinds of cookie cutters

All kinds of cookie cutters

I love these impression cutters.

I love these impression cutters.

We are making candles in my kitchen too. While these were made last year, we make them every year for gifts. They are nice to take along when visiting. Kayla made these for her mom last year. It is always nice when it is cold outside as the process goes along quicker.

We made these candles last year for my son's girlfriends mother.

We made these candles last year for my son’s girlfriends mother.

My kitchen is busy making all sorts of gifts.

Here is one of my TV shows loaded  with all sorts of gift giving ideas from my kitchen to yours! Have fun!

Head over to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to see all the fun things going on in kitchens across the world.

A Gingerbread Village

I taught a baking class one year at this time. The College hosted a “Christmas at the College” event so we built a Gingerbread Village.

We invited small children in to decorate graham cracker houses and students created large house. Here is a gallery of the different houses on display.

Notice the windows, inside lighting, stained glass and the one Thomas Kincaid House and look for the ice skater and the 3 little pigs houses made from “straw, sticks and bricks”.

There are a lot of ideas for decorating your gingerbread house. Some materials you can use are:

  • Ice cream cones: traditional and sugar cones for roof peaks and trees
  • Sheet gelatin for windows, you can make stained glass by using a cotton swab and food coloring
  • Rock candy for rock walls and pathways
  • Shredded wheat for thatched roofs and frosted shredded wheat for snow topped
  • Dentine gum for bricks
  • Marshmallows for snow men
  • Candy corn for candle flames
  • Pretzel rods and sticks for fence posts and fire wood stacks
  • Hold your house together with hot glue and then cover the glue with royal icing. The house will hold together better and not be as fragile.
  • Don’t cut walls too thin. They need to be strong enough to support the weight of the roof and all the candy you are going to stuck to it.
  • Use a sturdy board as the base so you can move the house around on the base and not have to lift the actual house itself to move around.
  • Plan a hole in the bottom of the board to stuff twinkle lights into so the inside of the house lights up.

Happy Holidays!