Merry Christmas from Ravenwood Whimzies Primitives & Folk Art. REJOICE IN THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOR!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

AND THE WINNER IS........................

Oh took such a long time to count all the entries!  I had nearly 300 comments during my
Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration.

I truly wish I could give EVERYONE a gift....for making my celebration such a success and for all of your lovely comments and sharing! 

After assigning a number to each comment, I then used a random number generator.......

and the winner of Gerald the Snowman is.......

Congratulations Lecia!
Gerald will be on his way to your home tomorrow! all know by now I love chickens, and I just had to share this little gem with you before I go...hope it brings a smile to your face.

Next week I hope to be back with a Christmas home tour.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My 2014 Twelve Days of Christmas Comes to an End

Isn't it amazing how the time flies between Thanksgiving and Christmas?
We always have so many plans and before we know it, POOF, it is just a few days before Christmas!

Yes, next week at this time we will be celebrating Christmas!

For many of you, families will gather, presents will be opened, meals will be shared.  I have enjoyed reading about your traditions.  It has been such a pleasure to share in your favorite recipes, meals and memories.  We've made cookies, decorated the trees, fed the birds, gathered for our dinner and given homemade gifts.  

Your response to my Celebration has been overwhelming.  I have been reading each and every comment, and even if I haven't responded to your comments, please know that I have appreciated them all.  There are just too many to take the time to respond to each and every one.  You have so many wonderful traditions, so many recipes that sound tasty....I think next year it may be fun to have you share along with me...perhaps we could do a Christmas Blog Hop! 

So, my Celebration comes to an end for 2014.
 for visiting each day and for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by and share.  It means a lot to me.

From my Family to yours.....May you have a magical and blessed Christmas!

 As we gather together, let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas.

  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16
With great anticipation, children still awaken on Christmas Day to find out what gifts they've received. And as Christians, that's how we should be... like children in anticipation! Just because Jesus has already come doesn't mean the anticipation should stop.
 Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving!

  My wish is that we all be more child-like again in our anticipation. This season, and every day for that matter, we should be as excited about Jesus as the angels are. 
 "Oh, thanks be to God for His Gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Oh yes...the GIVEAWAY!!!
I'll count up all of your comments today and this evening, and tomorrow, I will reveal the winner of my giveaway!  Get your comments in today!
Good luck and Merry Christmas!
Gerald is pretty excited to learn where he will be traveling to...and he is hoping it isn't a sunny spot...because, of course...he is a little concerned about melting.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Day 11 of my 12 Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway

Good morning Prim Friends!

Wow...Day 11 already (and even took a couple weekends off).  The time is flying by and before we know it, the magic of Christmas eve will be upon us.
I am trying hard to get all of my shopping and preparations done by the end of this week, so I have plenty of time to reflect, enjoy and celebrate.  
I sometimes wish I could go back to the wonder of being a child at Christmas....everything seemed SO exciting and it was oh so hard to wait until Santa came.  
My parents always let us sneak down and grab our stockings, which held fruit, little toys and oh yes...the CANDY!  Don't you wish you could eat all that candy now and not regret it??

Today I sharing a recipe for my own Peanut Brittle.  Not a year goes by that I don't make it...along with my peanut butter fudge.  It takes a little time to make, and it IS handy to have another person around to help pull the candy at the end, but the result is so much better than any thing you can buy.

Wendy's Homemade Peanut Brittle
This brittle is a tad different than most recipes, as it uses half brown sugar...but that makes ALL the difference in the world, and I wouldn't make it any other way.
Here's what you will need
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 t vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of butter (and a little more for greasing the pans and utensils)
1/2 t salt
2-3 cups of roasted peanuts - no salt
(I like to buy my peanuts in the bulk section of the store-get them early because they often run out during the holidays)
1 1/2 t. baking soda
large heavy pot
candy thermometer
I forgot to add the baking soda to this grouping before I took the picture.

Spray the sides of your large pot with cooking spray.  I have a non-stick pot in the picture, but pulled out my stainless steel one to make the brittle.  I've used both.
Generously butter two cookie sheets and also two forks. The more greasing you do beforehand, the better!  Do the sides and bottom of the pans well, and make sure the forks are greased up well too.   Set aside.  You can also use cooking spray, but make certain to do a heavy coat! I like to keep the cooking spray nearby in case I need to regrease the forks during the pulling stage of making the brittle.
Pre-measure all your ingredients and have them ready to dump in.  Keep the baking soda and nuts separated into two bowls, so they are handy to dump in when you are ready.  You don't want to have to measure these out when your syrup is ready!
In the pot, combine the sugars, corn syrup, water, butter and salt.  Cook and stir with a heavy plastic spoon or a wooden spoon sprayed heavily with cooking spray.  Don't use a cheap plastic spoon or it will melt!  I don't recommend using a metal spoon, as it will get hot.
Cook until it begins to boil and sugars dissolve.  Continue stirring and boil over medium high heat to 275 degrees register on your candy thermometer.  It can be tricky trying to stir and keep the thermometer in place, so it is handy to have a little help if possible.  Otherwise, just hold it with one hand and stir with the other.  
The mixture will be a light golden color and should be gently boiling over the entire surface.
 Now add the nuts and continue cooking and stirring the mixture until the candy thermometer reaches 295 degrees.  It will start getting thicker and darker.  Keep stirring so that the nuts do not burn.  Keep an eye on them too.  Sometimes I have difficulty getting my thermometer to read 295, but if you see your nuts starting to get too dark, chances are your brittle is ready.  You can double check by pulling your spoon out of the mixture....if the drips from the spoon instantly harden, then it is time to dump your brittle into your prepared pans.
Remove your pot from the heat and NOW
dump in the baking soda  and vanilla (if using). 
I can't tell you how many times I have forgotten to do this at the last minute, so place that little dish of soda next to your cookie sheets so you don't forget.  If you do forget, the brittle will turn out okay, but not as good.
Stir it into the hot will foam up a bit, and then
Pour into your greased cookie sheets, dividing evenly between the two pans.  Tip cookie sheets a bit to spread the mixture....let it cool for just a minute and then, using the forks, start pulling the brittle toward the edges of the cookie sheet.  Continue doing this until you can no longer pull the brittle.  This goes rather quickly, but try to make certain you get it as thin as possible.  It is nice to have a helper work on one pan while you do another.  Mr. Whimzie usually helps me out.  I don't like thick slabs of brittle, so we keep pulling until it is fairly see-through.
The hard work is done.  Just let it cool completely, then you can break it into pieces. Store in zipper bags or airtight containers.
  I give a lot of ours away each year by putting in it little cello bags, tied with a ribbon.  Sometimes I add a tag or label too.  Everyone loves it!
 I have included the cute picture I used on my bags below, so feel free to right-click the image and save it to your computer...then print several out when you are ready to package up your goodies.  I use clear packing tape to attach them to the bags.

Okay is time for you catch up on all the Giveaway questions!
The more questions you answer, the better your chances of winning sweet Gerald, the Prim Snowman.  So, if you haven't responded to each day's question, please go back and do so TODAY.
I will be counting up all the entries by tomorrow night, and will announce the winner of my giveaway on Friday!
The giveaway question for today is:

"In 10 words or less, tell me what Christmas means to you."
 "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:6-7)

See you tomorrow!
May your day be blessed!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Day 10 of my Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway

Good morning Prim Pals!

I hope today finds you happy and healthy!
Sometimes the stress of getting everything done during the holidays can take it's toll.  There are presents to buy and wrap, cookies to make, and if you are like me...those last minute gifts to create.

This year I decided to put together a basket of handmade soaps and things for my sister.  One of the items I wanted to make to put in the basket were some bath salts, so I thought I would share this easy recipe with you.  Perhaps you have a dear friend or sister who would enjoy receiving them.  I chose to make mine in a lavender scent, but wouldn't these be pretty and festive too, if you added peppermint extract and a little red food coloring?  I halved this recipe, to make just enough to send to her and keep a little for myself.

Homemade Fizzy Bath Salts

3 cups epsom salts
1/4 t lavender food coloring (optional)
20 drops lavender essential oil
2 cups baking soda
1 cup citric acid

(Citric acid can be found in your store's canning aisle or you may order larger quantities from Amazon)

  Pour the salts into a large and completely dry bowl. 

 Add the food coloring and essential oil and mix until completely combined. Next add the baking soda and the citric acid and combine.  

 If you live in a dry climate, allow these to dry for a few hours before packing them up. If you live in a humid climate, you may want to try blow drying them on low for a few minutes to remove any excess moisture and then packaging them immediately.  Divide into airtight containers (glass is preferable).  Decorate the jar with a pretty label, fabric or ribbon.  THAT's it!  Simple and Easy!

Directions of Use

You can use an entire cup of these salts if you’re doing a therapeutic epsom salt bath, or  use a few tablespoons if you just want a little something to add to your bath.

I have created a pretty label for you to tape to your bath salts.  Simply right-click, save to your computer, then print out in the appropriate size for your container.

I hope you have enjoyed today's tutorial.  I thought it would be fun to share  a little gift project with you.

As promised, I will reveal my giveaway item today!  So without further delay...

Meet Gerald!
He's a wonderfully prim snowman that I created using one of Stacey's great patterns (Raven's Haven).  He's such a sweet fellow, you will be able to display him all winter long!
The giveaway question for today is:

"Will you be hosting Christmas this year or will you be traveling to another's home?"

See you tomorrow gals!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Day 9 - Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway

Good morning everyone!

I hope you had a fun weekend.  Ours was jammed packed with activity, and I'm actually glad for a pick up and re-coop!  Saturday the whole family went antiquing for my birthday.  We started this tradition a few years ago and really enjoy it.  We poke around, buy a few interesting things and then go out to dinner on the way home.  Yesterday was spent going to Mass, shopping and then our normal 'football' Sundays over at our oldest son's house...oh gosh...we all ate too much!!!

Today is Day 9 of my
Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway!

Christmas is almost upon us!  I need to finish shopping and make up some goodies baskets for the neighbors.  One of the things I have prepared to add to their gifts are these beautiful and EASY mint cookies.  Try some today.

White Chocolate Mint Cookies

Here's what you will need:

  • a box of Nabisco Famous Wafer cookies
  • 12 oz white bark coating
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • about 4-5 peppermint candy canes, crushed
(oops...forgot to place the peppermint extract bottle in my picture)

Crush your candy canes and set aside in a small bowl.  Place several pieces of waxed paper or parchment paper onto your counter.
Place your white back coating squares into a microwave glass bowl.  Heat and melt according to package instructions.  My package also had directions of a double-boiler method, so go ahead and use that if you are more comfortable with it.
 Once your chocolate is melted, carefully place on chocolate cookie into the melted candy.  Use a fork to gently flip it over to coat both sides.  Place the fork under the cookie and gently lift it out of the melted candy, allowing it to drip for a minute, then place on wax paper and immediately sprinkle with your crushed candy cane.

Allow your cookies to cool completely.

Yes, it is THAT simple...and they are oh so festive.  The contrast of the white and dark with a sprinkling of the red peppermint candy looks so pretty.

Layer them carefully into a decorative tin, with wax paper between the layers and you have a beautiful gift to give.  But of course, be sure to save some for yourself, because they are as tasty as they are pretty!

 I think tomorrow I will post a picture of the giveaway item, since my Celebration is winding down.  It is going to be a winter item, rather than Christmas related, so that you can enjoy it for the rest of the colder months.

Today's giveaway question is:

"If you have pets, do you buy them a Christmas gift?"

I'll be back tomorrow with a quick and easy gift idea for that special friend in your life......
Have a great day Prim Friends.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 8 - Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway

Good morning Gals!

Grab a cup a 'cawfee' and come join me for today's tutorial.  I have had this particular tutorial bookmarked for weeks and really want to make one, but every week flies by without a chance to do so.

 You may have noticed that I love vintage inspired Christmas items, which is why I am drawn to the wonderful creations by
Karen of My Desert Cottage.  She has made so many mixed media pieces, and her tutorial for waterless snowglobes is so inspiring, that I wanted to be sure to share it with you, even if I haven't had an opportunity to create one for myself yet.  I have gathered all of the supplies I to find the time.

Maybe you will have a chance to create one of her beautiful snowglobes.

Oh, they look so fancy, but once you read her tutorial, you will see that she uses every day items to bring the magic to life!
So head on over to My Desert Cottage and let Karen teach you all about adding sparkle to your Christmas decor.

I'll be back on MONDAY with my own tutorial/recipe.
Today's Giveaway question of the day is:

"When was the last time you built or helped to build a snowman?"

See you tomorrow!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Day 7 - Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway

It's a Winter Wonderland outside!
Yesterday and last night we had a great snowstorm....the wind blew and the snow came down heavy.  The snow clung to the windows and made for a very pretty picture indeed.
It was cozy and warm inside, and a great day to catch up on some UFOs, decorating and baking.

Each Christmas morning, I make a treat to feast on while we enjoy our coffee and open presents.  It may be my caramel nut rolls, or it may be my Nana's coffee cake.  My Nana died when I was 13, but I have such fond memories of her.  She was a real lady...tall, lovely and as kind as can be.  She always dressed well, as befitted a lady of her time.  If you recall seeing pictures of Lucille Ball all dressed up and looking glamorous (not goofy)...that was my Nana.  She came from an era where people took pride in their appearance when they stepped out the door.  I think of my Nana often...sometimes I even feel her presence when I make her coffee cake, her pot roast, or see a jar of M & M's, which she always had when we came to visit...I wish she had lived long enough to see my sister, brothers and I grow up...she would have loved the boys and now our grandchildren.  But, time marches on and I know in my heart, Nana and PopPop (who died when I was just 2) will be waiting with open arms to greet me when the time comes.  

So in honor of my Nana, I am sharing her simple, yet yummy recipe.

Nana's Coffee Cake

A family favorite in our home - now you can make it too.

For the cake:
Sift together
2 1/2 c flour, 1/2 t. salt and 2 1/2 t. baking powder
In separate bowl, mix
1/2 c shortening
1 c sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
Cream well, then add
2 eggs and mix just until blended - do not overbeat
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with
1 c milk
Beat just until blended and spread into a 13 x 9 pan
For the crumb topping:

In food processor, combine 1 c sugar, 1 c flour, one stick butter and 1 - 2 T cinnamon.  Blend until combine and butter is in small pieces.  Top batter with crumb mixture and place in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Cool completely before serving.
I'm not sure why, but we have traditionally baked this coffee cake in two round cake pans.  Occasionally we will use a 9x13 pan, but it never quite seems the same unless it is sliced like a  Oh brother Jon and I used to always fought over who got to scrape the crumbs from the bottom of the pan with a spoon and eat them.

I'm sure this recipe could be fancied up with the addition of some chopped nuts in the topping and perhaps fruit and more crumb topping in the middle of the cake, but the simplicity of the recipe and the Lady who inspired it are what make it so special to us.
I hope you enjoy it too.
Today's giveaway question is:

"Do you have a special family recipe you make at Christmastime that invokes wonderful memories?"

Thank you all for stopping by again today and sharing your wonderful comments with me - I read each one and enjoy hearing about your family traditions!

I have listed a couple of new items on Ebay, if you care to take a look. You will find a link on the top left of my blog.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Day 6 - Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway

Good morning dear friends.
Thank you for all the well wishes and virtual chicken soup!  I am feeling much better today...even my chest cough seems to have faded...must be all the lovin' you have sent my way...and of course, my dear hubby taking care of me!

We are experiencing a winter storm here this morning.  It's snowing and blowing, but oh so cozy inside.  I was surprised to see my hubby sitting on the couch saying his morning prayers, when I got up at 7.  He decided to work from home today rather than battle the bad road conditions.  He has to travel about 40 minutes to work on mostly rural roads, which are usually the last to be plowed.  It will be nice to have a little company today, other than our three kitties and dog, Jack.


Through the years, I have accumulated two special collections of Christmas is nutcrackers and the other is Santas.  I LOVE vintage Santas, Belsnickles or Saint Nicholas.  I think they are my favorite to display, and I'm always looking for more.  As a matter of fact, I'm kicking myself for not purchasing one I saw this weekend at a local craft sale.

With this theme in mind, today's tutorial is for

Vintage Paper Santas

You will need:

Brown paper grocery bags
paper towel or tp cardboard roll
Facial tissue or stuffing
Tacky or hot glue
Vintage Santa Images (provided below or you can use your own)

1.  Cut two pieces of brown grocery bag to 8 ½” x 11”.  You will iron one of the sheets so it is nice and flat, to feed into your computer.

2.  Copy and paste the Santa images onto your computer.  Adjust the image to fill the page.  Print the image onto the brown bag sheet piece that you ironed.

3.  Holding both sheets of brown paper together, cut around the image leaving about an inch margin around the image.

4.  Slightly flatten one end of a tp roll.  Place and tape the rounded end of the tp roll to the center bottom, and the backside of the Santa image sheet. 

5.  Slightly wad up Kleenex or stuffing and place them above and around the tp roll.  Loosely tape in place.

6.  Run a line of glue around the back, top half of the Santa imaged sheet.  Lay the sheet over the blank sheet of brown paper.  

7. Slide the glued side so that about ½” of the back sheet can be seen.  This makes the back sheet smaller than the imaged side, and gives some depth to your Santa.  When the top side starts to stick, apply glue to the bottom half of the imaged paper, again sliding the top paper so that ½” of the back paper can be seen, and glue down.

8.  Once the glue is set, trim the extra paper on the back sheet so it’s even with the Santa imaged side.  Trim the bottom edges of the brown bag sheets to make the Santa stand on its own.

9.  Spray with a matte sealer to give them a little extra glow.  Arrange in threes for a more pleasing display.

You can also use this idea to make ornaments for your tree.
Simply print smaller images, omit the paper tube and stuff lightly, glue all the way around.  Attach hanging ribbon by placing a small hole in the top.  You can use other holiday images for ornaments as well...use your imagination and have fun.(Kids& Glitter tutorial)

Here are the vintage images I used:

Today's giveaway question is:

"Do you have any special collections you like to display at Christmas time?"

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Day 5 - Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway

Good morning friends.
Sorry I'm a bit late posting today....I have been the victim of the latest round of colds/flu going around.  I felt it coming on all weekend and yesterday afternoon it hit with a vengeance.  So, needless to say, I wasn't able to work on my tutorial for Bottle Brush trees, for which Leigh Ann over at Your Home Based Mom was providing the inspiration.  I figured it was better to provide you with a link to her wonderful tutorial rather than having no post at all today.

I do apologize, and hopefully will be back tomorrow with my own tutorials or recipes!  Have a blessed day!

Today's giveaway question is:

"Do you put up more than one large Christmas tree in your home?"

Monday, December 8, 2014

Day 4 - Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration & Giveaway

Good morning Prim Friends!

I hope you had an enjoyable weekend!  We were very busy as we had a blast watching our grandson Petie all weekend.  He goes non-stop, and Grandma and Grandpa were pretty tired last night.  
I thought I would share a picture of Peter's first meeting with Saint Nicholas at church yesterday.  I wasn't sure he would sit on his lap, but once Saint Nick handed him a little present, Petie was okay with it.

Like most grandkiddos, Peter knows just where the cookie jar is!  Well...he also knows where the panty is and is not shy about helping himself to peanuts, pretzels, etc.
Now I usually don't keep too many cookies around for Chris and I, because....well....we will eat them.  But since Petie knows where the cookie jar is and asks all the time....of course...Grandma has to have cookies available.

So today's Recipe is for....of course....a cookie!
All good Christmas cookies have to have butter, spice and...eggnog...right? They remind us of Christmas on a plate!

Holiday Egg Nog Spice Cookies
 Cookie Ingredients

3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups) softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (I usually leave this out, as it isn't something I have on hand)
1/4 nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup of course sugar, for rolling the cookie dough balls in

Glaze ingredients

1/4 cup eggnog
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter & sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, egg yolk and molasses and mix just until combined.

Sift together your spices and dry ingredients and gradually add them to the butter/egg mixture, combine well, but don't overbeat.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough and shape the dough into 2 inch balls.  Roll the cookie balls in a bowl with the course sugar.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in a 350˚ oven for 13-14 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

While cookies are cooling, prepare your glaze.  Once the cookies are cool, dip the top part of the cookie into the glaze. Be careful to not fully only want to very lightly touch the glaze, so it doesn't flow into the beautiful cracks in the cookies.


I'll be back tomorrow with a fun Bottle Brush Tutorial!

Today's giveaway question is:

"Do you have a traditional family meal that you always serve on Christmas?"

Ours is roast beef, rosemary potatoes, popovers and glazed carrots. mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Don't forget to comment and answer the question on each day's post to be entered in the giveaway!!!

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