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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 11/28/11

Monday, November 28, 2011

CHRISTMAS IN FINLAND!



   In Finland, Christmas is celebrated from 24th to 26th of December. Preparations for the festival begin from approximately a month ago with many Finnish people buying the Christmas tree, decorative items and gifts and goodies for the season. Houses are cleaned and special treats like gingerbread cookies and prune tarts prepared for the oncoming festive season.  In Finland, Santa might also be known as Joulupukki!
   The first Sunday in December (also called the First Advent) starts the Finnish Christmas season. Christmas lights begin to appear in the stores along with gifts, goods and goodies for the festival. Children count the days to the festival making their own Christmas calendar with some great pictures related to the Christmas theme or even some chocolate caramel.




   In Finland the Christmas tree is set up on Christmas Eve. Fir trees are felled, tied onto sleds, and taken home to be decorated beautifully with candies, paper flags, cotton, tinsel, apples and other fruits. Candles are used for lighting the trees. Many women make a visit to some local sauna to groom themselves for the occassion.
   Christmas here is replete with different homegrown customs. In Finnish rural areas, it is a popular tradition for farmers to tie a sheaf of grain, nuts and seeds on a pole and placing it in the garden for the birds to feed on. Only after birds eat their dinner, the farmers partake of their Christmas dinner.




   Christmas dinner traditionally begins in Finland with the appearance of the first star in the sky. Dinner is served between 5-7 pm, and consists usually of roasted pig or a roasted ham and vegetables. The main dish is boiled codfish, served white and fluffy, along with allspice, boiled potatoes, and cream sauce. A week ahead of the dinner, the codfish is soaked in a lye solution to soften it. Once the dinner is complete, children head straight to bed while adults chat and drink coffee until about midnight. Other important traditions of the day consist of a visit to the Christmas mass. Many Finnish families also visit cemeteries to remember the dead and have porridge for lunch. Joyful carols and local Christmas songs also form an essential part of Christmas Eve festivities.





   On Christmas Day, church services start out early at six in the morning. Most people visit families and friends. Family get-togethers are the high point of this day. Christmas cards are being exchanged and everyone wishes another "Hyvaa Joulua", meaning "Merry Christmas" in Finnish.

3D PAPER STAR WREATH!

   This comes from www.littlebirdiesecreats.blogspot.com


I had a bunch of this pretty Christmas paper left over from last year (it's Making Memories' Mistletoe line), so I decided to use it up before I didn't love it anymore. I've been meaning to make a star wreath for ages, and after seeing a friend's 3D stars lining the wall on her staircase (super cute idea, by the way), I decided to try them out. Easy and darling! Here's how to make a 3-D paper star wreath for yourself.




3-D Paper Star Wreath Tutorial
Supplies:


*Patterned papers
*Scoring tool (scoring board, bone folder, or stylus)
*Hot glue gun
*Wreath form (I cut my own out of chipboard, but you could use a wooden one from the craft store)
*Buttons, brads, and ribbon





1. Cut stars approximately 3" to 4" wide using a template or die cutting machine. I would've used my Silhouette, but it's on the fritz, so I used my trusty Slice machine. You could also trace a template. I used 12 stars, but you may use more or less depending on the size of your wreath.






2. Score a line from the top of each point straight down to the inside point. Do this for each of the five points.


3. Fold on each line. First, fold each line with wrong-sides of the paper together.




4. Then fold the short lines between points in the opposite direction to give your star dimension.


Repeat this for all stars. Aren't they cute?





5. Optional: embellish stars centers with buttons, brads, or rhinestones. I hot glued mine on.




6. I didn't want my white wreath form to show, so I covered it with green stars, cut just 1/2" smaller. This is also optional, especially if your wreath form is narrower or you have more stars. You can always overlap your big stars.




7. Apply glue to the inside points on the back and hot glue to wreath form.




8. Create a ribbon hanger with a piece of ribbon, and if you're froofy like me, you can add a big, fluffy bow or two. Glue to the back of wreath.




Hang and enjoy!



These 3D stars are also great as ornaments. Just glue a ribbon hanger to the back! You could also glue another star to the back to make it a little sturdier and more 3-D.



I also use them as gift tags. Or gift tags that are also ornaments!



CANDY CANE MARSHMALLOWS!

   This comes from www.marthastewart.com .  Try making marshmallows this holiday season.  They taste 100% better than the store bought brands.





Give out homemade treats that are great in hot cocoa -- or straight from the bag. Peppermint marshmallows are easy to make; they get their red swirl from a quick marbleizing technique. Follow our recipe, then package them in small cellophane bags to show off their good looks. Fold the top of each bag over once, and staple it shut. Use a small hole punch on either side of the staple. Thread a length of red twine through the holes, and knot it in front. Pull one end through a gift tag, and finish with a bow.


  • Yield Makes sixteen 2-inch squares

Ingredients


  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring


Directions

  1. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Coat the parchment with cooking spray, and set pan aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring; let mixture come to a boil. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until mixture registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract; set aside.
  3. Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture; with mixer running, gradually add to egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture into lined pan. Working quickly, drop dots of red food coloring across surface of marshmallow. Using a toothpick, swirl food coloring into marshmallow to create a marbleized effect. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.


DIY GRINCH PILL HOLDER!

   This is from www.scapcationgetaway.blogspot.com .  Children would get a real kick out of this one.

Grinch Pills --Free Scut File


Here is one of my favorite projects I've done so far! I just love these! I am dying to make more! I designed the little tic tac holder in my SCAL program and saved it as a scut file. You can download it below. I've made it very easy for you! I've even included the design that I put on the front!




Right click on the image below to save. Then all you have to do is print!



NEW YORK HOLIDAY WINDOW DISPLAYS FOR 2011, PART I!!

   Her a few of the Holiday window displays that I have found so far.  Enjoy the pictures and more will be coming soon.


Macy's Holiday Windows 2011


Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Macy's holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
Bloomingdales holiday windows 2011
New Museum Store 2011
New Museum store holiday windows 2011
New Museum store holiday windows 2011
New Museum store holiday windows 2011
New Museum store holiday windows 2011
New Museum store holiday windows 2011
New Museum store holiday windows 2011
New Museum store holiday windows 2011
Lord & Taylor 2011
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Henri Bendel 2011

 

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