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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy New Year

I wish you Joy all through the year.

I wish you Love of Family and Friends.

I wish you Happy Days that never end.

Happy New Year, 


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Peace and Love to you.

Christmas 2018

Thank you dear Friends for visiting me.  

I wish for you all manner of wealth
but most of all I wish you health and happiness. 



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Old World Traditions

The First Advent

This year it fell on November 25th, my Birthday.

The first Advent is the fourth Sunday BEFORE Christmas Day. 

How excited we were.

Running up four flights of stairs to wake up the first Räuchermann (incense smoker).
Impatiently waiting for grown ups to catch up.

 Gently taking him out of his box, gently carrying him down to the Gute Stube (the best room of the house).  Only good little girls and good little boys are allowed to carry him. 
Placing  him on the fireplace mantle where he fills the air with exotic incense. And where soon he will be joined by three more Räuchermännchen, the next three Sundays.
Christmas Season had officially begun.

Cone incense is placed inside and lit.

We were spellbound, waiting for the smoke to come out of their mouths.

The tradition is observed in many parts of Germany and other central European countries. But nowhere more celebrated than in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) central Europe near the Saxony/Bohemia border. 

Ore Mountain Folk Art, in the form of Smoking Figures (Räuchermännchen), Christmas Pyramids, Nutcrackers and many other colorful and hand carved ornaments are known the world over.

Are you almost ready for Christmas?



Friday, December 7, 2018

A different version

It's that time of year again when I get lots of questions about my hand painted glass Christmas ornaments.

Here is How to 

If you don't want to get out the paints
and want to do something different.

 Tear up very thin napkins (MacKenzie type) into smaller pieces.

 Cover (modge podge style) clear glass balls with colored tissue paper.

Use thinned out Elmer's glue or similar.
You can even make a very thin paste of flour and water. 

These napkins come in layers.  Only use the top layer. 
The thinner the paper the more malleable it is. 
You will get a smoother finish.

Dip the paper in glue and attach to glass ball.

Attach a wire hanger and let dry.

Spray with clear Sealer. 

Almost all napkins come apart into several layers. 

Little once like to be involved. 

Clear plastic hearts and balls are available in craft stores.
They are safe to use for the younger group.  

Have fun. 


Friday, November 30, 2018

Quick and easy.

Shiny copper pots for the holidays.

Maybe you use your copper pots every day, as I do, or you like to have them sparkle for the holidays. 

There is a painless and quick way to make them shine. 

All you need is CLR (available in every hardware store) 
coarse salt, a lemon, a sponge and gloves. 

No need to scrub,
just glide a corner of your CLR soaked sponge over pot.
Dip a lemon, cut in half, in coarse salt and rub.  
Let rest a minute. 

Wash with soap and water.  
Dry immediately or it leaves streaks. 

One more pot to go. 

Caution: do not let CLR stand on natural stone surfaces.

Unlike copper polish,  
CLR rinses clean and does not leave a residue. 
(CLR meets U.S. EPA Safer Product Standards).

I use my copper pots every day. 

They hang from bicycle hooks. 
More friendly than metal hooks. 

Wishing you a happy week.



Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving dear friends.

Wishing you an extra special day with family and friends.  



Monday, November 19, 2018

More Gold

Just in time for the holidays
Gold leafing, Part II

Not just acorns.
Gold leafing candles is even easier.

You will need a little book of metal leaf
(make believe gold)

and a bottle of Adhesive Size (glue).
You can even antique the gold (left bottle)
or be even more authentic by painting an undercoat of red basecoat (bottle on the right). 

Paint lower part of candle with rabbit skin glue (Size) 
Wait till glue is tacky, about an hour.
Lay on gold.
Carefully polish with soft cloth or sheep skin until smooth

When completely dry you can even scribe a pattern into candle. 

Gold leaf applied to lower part of candle.  
Wrapped in plastic and forgotten.

What a surprise. 
Probably couldn't repeat this patina if I tried.

I gilded these columns which lead into our dining room.

There are so many applications.

See how special. A few candles with gold leaf, a few pomanders,  and fresh greens and a centerpiece is born.  

Thank you dear friends for stopping by.  I am always so happy to hear from you.  


Saturday, November 17, 2018

There is time to play a little.

The golden Acorn
Part I

So appealing and special for Holiday decorations. 

My charming friend Sieglinde sent these extra special acorns to me from Texas. 

We decided that we also liked them just the way they are.  

But, you have known me long enough to know about my penchant for gold. 

A simple 2 step process.
It is the gold leaf  ($12),  actually called metal leaf in craft stores,
 I use for craft projects. 

The Genuine Gold Leaf  ($80) I use for more important projects. 
The difference, metal leaf will eventually tarnish. 
 Real gold does not. 

 I couldn't help myself, I had to add a bit of gold to at least some of the acorns.
I used a gold pen on the acorn on the left. 
 Not shiny enough for me. 

Pour a little glue (specially designed for gilding, available in any craft store), into a small container and paint each acorn. 

Acorns painted with glue will slowly turn from white to clear. 

After about 20 minutes,  acorns will turn shiny and tacky.  
You now have about an hour to apply gold leaf.  

Lay on gold leaf and polish with a soft cloth.

Even one little acorn is charming.
And you have learned a new and golden craft. 

Your friendship is very important to me. 
Thank you for your comments.



Monday, November 12, 2018

Good Morning.

A calorie conscious, well known Chef, asked his television audience:
what would you omit, the butter or the preserves from your toast? 

In unison, they all duty fully responded:  the butter, of course.

Preserves only.

No Thank You!  I would rather have none.

I must have butter on my toast AND my home-made preserves.

It's what I look forward to.  Every morning, a cup of coffee and a piece of toast with a moderate amount of unsalted butter and a BIG dollop of my home - made preserves.

And a very Good Morning to you  my dear
Blogging Friends.


Partial repost 9/13/12