At the first hint of chill in the air, my thoughts turn to Christmas. My mind and heart begin to fill with visions of sugar plums indeed. My weekly menu turns decidedly toward comfort food and I begin rummaging in my brain for homemade Christmas gift ideas for my loved ones. I begin hauling out first the autumn decorations and later the Christmas, decking my halls and every other available surface. I take delight in the season, the magic, wonder and glory of it all. This blog was born from that delight. Here you will find dinner ideas, crafts, decor, stories, memories, and music. Some ideas will be entirely mine, but I will also include anything cute I come across that I think you might like to see, credit given to the creator or source. Please leave me your ideas in the comments and any other feedback you'd like to give.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Season Is Upon Us!

Now that things are really heating up I can't seem to find time to blog! Never fear, I still have a few treasures for you. Today I want to share a few pictures of a gingerbread garland I made. This is one of my very favorite crafts to do for the holidays. The beads for the garland are made from the recipe I posted here. For the round(ish) beads,

roll the dough into 1 inch tall egg shapes. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. I have found that turning the oven off and leaving them in there for a while longer helps them to harden nicely. (Don't burn them, let your oven cool a bit if they continue to darken.) They will have flattened out into rounded discs. Once they are hard and cool, take two discs and stick the flattened sides together with a little bit of icing. Let it harden. Then you can decorate them however you like. I have found it is easiest to then simply drill a hole through the bead for stringing it on the fishing line. For the oblong beads,

roll out an 8 inch snake of dough, wrap it tightly in tin foil, bake at 350, also for 8 minutes. When the dough has cooled a bit but is still soft, cut it into 1 1/2 inch lengths. At this point I find it helps to put them back in a very slow (185 degree) oven until they harden. Decorate and drill as you did the round beads. For the stars,

roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness, cut out star shapes, bake as you did the other beads. Drill. String the beads along with nuts, cranberries, dried orange slices, and whatever else you think might look great.

This garland has a warm spicy scent, especially when displayed with a string of lights that warms it up just a bit. The lights will also create a glow through the dried oranges.

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