Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Nice Christmas Things -- The Odds and Ends of Life

There's something rather wonderful about hearing your doorbell ring and it's the new neighbors who just moved in, bringing you cookies! (I've been wanting to put together a plate for them and hadn't finished my baking when they came! A lovely young couple. I don't think they'll be there long, but they seem so nice, I hope they stay longer than planned! They'll get some of this from me...


...and this. And something else, too. Once I bake.


Rick got his tree. It was the easiest time ever -- we walked over to the right tree, it was the right price and in 10 minutes we were home. More on that one later!


Christmas is making ornaments and crafting. And who has time to do that? I probably wouldn't have, but I had a boatload of wine corks and wanted to make ornaments for our Cork Poppers gathering. Aren't these cute? I modeled after one a friend gave me last year for Christmas, with a few changes. (Incidentally, the ones below are works in progress, before I cleaned up the moss and hot glue strings!)


You need six corks per ornament, an eye screw, hot glue gun (and loads of glue if you're making many of them), some decorative trim, moss, snow and little flowerpots. (If you can't find the mini-pots, you could always cut a cork in thirds as a trunk.) Make the tree first, by gluing three corks together. Make sure the most interesting ones are on the outside.


Then repeat with two and then one. Finally, screw in the eye screw.


Hopefully you've already painted your flower pots and they've dried. Since the corks need more to hold onto than just the rim of the pot, fill the pot with something and glue it in well. You could use clay or any filler that would give a flat top. I chose moss. (You really have to glue that in because it is sort of squishy and not necessarily all in one piece. But it's pretty.) Then attach the tree to the pot. A little vintage tinsel on the top and a dusting of "snow" and you have a cute ornament -- and for our group, a perfect one.


We gathered together to celebrate the holiday at a local restaurant, then back to Kate and Mike's house for dessert and prosecco, accompanied by a wine-and-chocolate exchange.


If you brought wine and chocolate, you swapped with another and got one to take home, so it could be either couples or individuals. (Rick and I participated individually. Two new wines to try!)


It was all holly jolly and so festive. I made toffee bars. (The neighbors will get some of those, too!)


Barb brought a miraculous flourless chocolate cake.


Kate made peppermint meltaways, lemon bars and brownies. We were not deprived!


Yum!



Her house was lovely. Aren't these balls unique and beautiful?


They are by a local artist and really make a statement!


Of course there was toasting!


And photos -- this is our Christmas photo of the year!


My friend Suzanne, our "honorary Cork Popper," was here for the weekend from Canada.


It was such fun and super holly-jolly!


The night before, Rick, Suzanne and I did the holiday light tour, going to the neighborhood she and I grew up in. Most of the photos were terrible, but this one wasn't too bad.


When we were kids, we WERE the holiday display -- we stopped traffic in front of our house as we acted like animated dummies.


And we had such fun! Our cast rotated in size, depending on who was available and there were hot chocolate breaks when the traffic died down. We didn't think we were nerds but by today's standards, we probably were! And Mom and Dad loved having us around! It was fun trying not to "breathe" when people were watching us and let the cold-air steam escape from our lips! We even fooled people some of the time -- or so it seemed!


And of course, we had to see the state Christmas Tree.


After Corkies, some many of us went to hear Popper Roger sing in his Men of Orpheus holiday concert. Lovely to hear these deep lovely voices singing songs of the season. I, unfortunately, left the camera at Kate's!


So, I leave you today with the skies of a Michigan December.


And a little bit of holiday glow!


Merry and Bright.

(If you missed them:  Decking the Halls - The Living Room   /   Decking the Halls - The Rest of It)

Sharing this week with:   Pink Saturday     

35 comments:

Susan Kane said...


How lovely! And the food, that is almost a wonderful sugar high.

Love your photos.

Deb said...

What a fun post. You have such a great time with your friends. And it's nice to see a bit of Canada in there. ;-)
Thank you for the beautiful Christmas card. What a year you have had. :)

William Kendall said...

Good lord, now I'm hungry. Those sky shots are stunning.

The French Hutch said...

Would I love to be your new neighbor! So many goodies going next door, such treats. I love how you and Rick are always partying and enjoying so many festivities. Great friends and food, always fun. Love seeing your pics when you were a kid. Love the Christmas pic of you and Rick. Such a sweet post Jeanie..................

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

I'm sending my daughter the photo of the wine cork ornaments. She has made a couple things with corks and they are so cute!

Jeanie said...

All the best for a wonderful holiday season. It looks like you are on track for a good one.


coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Those little cork ornaments are really cute! Your baking looks delicious, by the way. All the food at your gathering did, too! I think that is too funny how you pretended to be mannequins. -Jenn

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I gained two pounds just taking in your wonderful baked goods with my eyes.

Those little cork trees are cute and perfect for your wine group. I also love that first yarn ornament and I'll bet I know how she make it. Very clever use of an old technique I first tried in the '60s.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Food, drink, gifts, friends, and a lovely setting. What a fabulous way to celebrate with friends at Christmas time.

Like you, I went looking at lights a couple of nights ago. I took my camera, but didn't take a single photo. Yours turned out great, including that fabulous tree at the capital. This is a magical post, dear Jeanie.

Joyful said...

Looks like you had a wonderful celebration with the cork popping group of friends. I really like those toffee bars you made. If you have time maybe you could send me your recipe ;-) Have a wonderful rest of your week and a very Merry Christmas. ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

Iris Flavia said...

Thanks to the lazy postman our doorbell is only on when we expect visitors.
Too often I accepted a neighbour´s package, went up when thinking they´re back from work and they have been home all day, waiting for the goodie!

And, sadly... new neighbours move in without a word or move out, you never know.
De facto I only know three parties here.
Nice you have such great neighbours!!

"Sรถhne GmbH" sure is German, even if I´m not into wine I get that. And I somehow can´t imagine it was yummy?

Wine and chocolate?! Never heard of that combination!!! I´d expect cheese, nuts, something strong and salty. I´ll never be a wine person with chocolate involved ;-)

Love your Christmas photo!

Nerds? Today you call it Flash Mob, I guess. But anyway, main thing is it is and or was fun!

Valerie-Jael said...

Looks like you have been having fun! Your baked goods and crafted goodies all look wonderful. The tree looks perfect! Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

Joanne Huffman said...

Perfect ornaments for your Cork Poppers. As always, your gathering looks like great (and tasty) fun. I love that you were living Christmas ornaments.

DUTA said...

Cork is such a wonderful, versatile material! People are unaware of that. Perhaps your post will raise awareness to this great DIY stuff.

My name is Erika. said...

Your cork poppers always look like such a fun group. And such festive this time. Perfect for a little holiday fun! And I love the old photos. They look fun too. And now I need a little sweet treat after looking at all the yummies in your post. Good thing I have some bread to nibble on before I leave for work. Have a wonderful day! and Happy holidays too. hugs-Erika

eileeninmd said...

Hello,
You and your friends have so much fun, the food looks yummy too. I like the cork ornaments, very cute. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

La Table De Nana said...

You and your frineds have so much fun..
I love the old pics Jeanie ..and I recognize your painting buddy..You could be sisters!
Fun shots thanks for sharing them all!

Running on empty said...

Love the ornaments, jealous of the party, but lemme get this straight, you guys stood motionless on Michigan nights in the snow? Brrrrrr!

Cath

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Really cute ornaments. I will make one for my tree. Lovely gathering with friends. Love your tree. Wishing you a very happy holiday weekend.

My Grama's Soul said...

What a fantastic holiday post. It lifted my spirits....I can tell you that! So very often everyone gets so caught up in the commercial aspect that they totally forget the human part. Just beautiful here!!

Jo

Karen thisoldhouse2.com said...

The best parts of the holiday season are gathering with dear friends and family - your goodies look delish! Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy 2019 to all -

Lynne said...

I need you to write a book including ALL your recipes!
My oh my . . . Those Pecan thingy’s sounds wonderful.
I have another recipe for Pecan yummies, I will have to look it up.
Merry, Merry . . .

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Simply wonderful, Jeanie - so much joy in your blog posts. Loved the images, the cooking - and the cork Christmas trees - very clever! Have a wonderful Christmas and an better New Year!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, what wonderful treats that your neighbor will receive from your kitchen! The cork Christmas trees are too cute and I am sure fun to make! This is such a lovely post of food, friends, and fun times. Thanks for sharing the heart-filled and the joyous season of Christmas.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, looks like you are having a wonderful time, as usual. Love those little cork trees..Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year..xxoJudy

Polly said...

Oooh those cakes look scrumptious Jeanie. Your London photos are wonderful. And I love your Christmas decorations, especially the cork mini trees. Your home looks lovely – warm, cosy and inviting. Your copper pot arrangement is beautiful. Adorable photos of Lizzie. I bought my Christmas tree very quickly this year without the usual fuss or traipsing around. That is a lovely photo of you and Rick.

Rita C at Panoply said...

What a festive post - I love it! Merey and bright! And those cork trees are adorable! I think I can do those in less than the 6hrs my spool wreaths took!

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

What a perfect gift for you to make and give at your party! It looks all so festive. Merry Christmas!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

A lovely, happy and seasonal blog that I enjoyed alot.
Phyllis

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds like a very holly jolly time indeed! Also, those ornaments sound so cute.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Wow - I want to go to your parties - fun and such wonderful food! Wishing you joy this season.

carol@The Red Painted Cottage said...

Jeanie, Everything looks so yummy. And I couldn't help but notice your Meijer Christmas paper plate that we also bought!

Sketchbook Wandering said...

You sure do know how to "keep Christmas" and to share the fun!! Party on!
I LOVE the story of what you kids did, standing out front. I don't think kids even go outdoors much these days, never mind have such fun.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

The cork popper gathering looked so festive and fun! And how fun to cap off the night with a holiday concert! Love that you did a mannequin type display when you were a kid! Too funny.

Doodle T said...

Merriest of Christmas and Happiness for the New Year!

Popular Posts