Archive for » December, 2009 «

My Christmas Gift!

Had to post my favorite Christmas gift.  Brandon saw this and debated whether to buy it or not for me.  I am so glad he did because I LOVE IT!!!  He bought me a Gallery of Light  – Hitch Hiking Ghosts – by Robert Olszewski.

Gallery of Light - Hitch Hiking Ghosts

Gallery of Light - Hitch Hiking Ghosts

Gallery of Light - Hitch Hiking Ghosts

Gallery of Light - Hitch Hiking Ghosts

It is a shadow box and it is very detailed.  The frame is about 5 inches square and on the frame one of the leaves is the switch to turn on the LED blue lights.  The hitch hikers are very detailed and really makes me feel like I am at Disney in the Haunted Mansion.  Love It!!

We had a terrific Christmas.  Santa was very good to us all.  Our son made out like a bandit and has plenty to keep him busy with an XBox and games, LEGO sets, board games, models, books and assorted other toys.  Brandon got a carving tool he was looking at and some other needed and wanted things.

I didn’t really paint anything for everyone this year.  I normally make tags or something and just didn’t feel like it.  I did paint clocks for our Moms.  They both bought clocks in the fall and asked me to paint them.  I didn’t really do them for Christmas but it was just when I got them to them.

My Mom’s is painted with Hydrangeas…

Hydrangea Clock

Hydrangea Clock

 Hydrangea Clock

Hydrangea Clock

For Brandon’s Mom, she wanted houses on hers.  Her clock was very small so that made that a bit challenging…

Primitive Houses Clock

Primitive Houses Clock

Primitive Houses Clock

Primitive Houses Clock

Primitive Houses Clock

Primitive Houses Clock

That was my own exercise in miniatures!  The clock was only about 6 – 8 inches wide so the house scene was quite small.

The next couple of days are going to be all about relaxing and playing with our son and his new stuff!  Not so relaxing but fun.

Christmas Decorations!

It’s almost here!  Tomorrow is the big day!  I’ve been busy baking and getting everything ready.  The gifts are all wrapped, the cookies are baked we are ready!  I am hoping that everyone here will be healthy for Christmas.  Brandon has been down and out with a wicked cold and I am hoping he’ll be feeling better tomorrow.  Our son is excited about Christmas and we are trying to keep him busy so he doesn’t drive us nuts with the “Is it Christmas yet?” and my favorite, “Can I open one gift now?”  He loves Christmas and I hope he always does.

Here’s a quick tour of our Christmas Decorations…

Lets start with outside.  We finally got our first snow last weekend.  It didn’t amount to much but it was a good time to take pictures!

[flv:http://blog1.ardoria.com/Video/Christmas_2009.flv 320 240]

The reindeer leaping across the driveway, the reindeer on the garage with the wreath and the reindeer standing in the front yard were all made by Brandon.

Reindeer with Wreath

Reindeer with Wreath

Indoors we have three trees….

Downstairs Tree

Downstairs Tree

Kitchen Tree

Kitchen Tree

IMG_5382

Living Room Tree

The fireplace mantle is decorated with our figural nutcrackers and musical nutcracker…..

The Fireplace Mantle

The Fireplace Mantle

We even dressed our Skull Nutcracker for Christmas…..

Jolly Skull Nutcracker

Jolly Skull Nutcracker

Now the only things left to do is get the house clean and get all the last minute stuff done before Santa comes tonight!

Even Gus is ready for Christmas!

Hitchhiker Santa

Hitchhiker Santa

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Our Third Annual Gingerbread House

Only a few more days until Christmas!  I love this time of year.  I love Christmas music, the decorations,  It’s just a darn good time.

I started our Third Annual Gingerbread House last Sunday, a week later than anticipated.  I wanted to do a haunted gingerbread house for Halloween but didn’t get to it.  When I was looking for inspiration for that I found plans to make a gingerbread  Phantom Manor.  We love Disney’s Haunted Mansion….Love It!   I thought The Phantom Manor would be a really neat gingerbread house to make this year.  It didn’t get done for Halloween but I used the pattern to make our Christmas gingerbread house….

Pieces of Gingerbread

Pieces of Gingerbread

Building the Gingerbread House

Building the Gingerbread House

Getting Closer To Finished

Getting Closer To Finished

The patterns are good.  My building skills are not so good.  I had no problems until it came to putting the roof on…..it took 4 or 5 redo’s but I finally got it.  My biggest problem is my impatience.  I just can’t wait for the icing to harden then the roof would collapse and you just have to do it all over again.

That’s how the gingerbread house stands as of now.  I just got tired of cleaning the kitchen!  I will  be making sugar cookies until this week and  when I make icing again I will put the finishing touched on the house and will post those pictures then.

I am officially done shopping for the holidays and everything is wrapped and packages mailed!  Now all I have to do is bake cookies and get my house clean before Christmas!  I will post soon with more Christmas stuff!

New Christmas Cookie Recipe

Brandon’s work had a Cookie Recipe Exchange and I decided to make a new recipe I found.  I really like the idea of the Recipe Exchange because I can make some cookies, try one and send the rest out of the house.  Less chance that I eat all of them.

The recipe I made was Banana Foster Bars.  We used to go to a restaurant that had Banana Foster Cake and it was a favorite.  The restaurant closed and we haven’t had it since.  I saw the recipe for these bars and hoped they would be as good as the cake.

Mine turned out to be more brownie like than like a bar cookie because the recipe called for a 9 x 9 inch pan and I used what I have an 8 x 8 inch so mine are thicker.   This was yummy but I still miss that darn cake.  Here is a picture of my piece I kept….

Banana Foster Bar

Banana Foster Bar

This weekend I think I am going to make ” The 3rd Annual Gingerbread House”.  I am not sure what I am going to make but I need to figure it out quick because I want to do it Sunday!