Sunday, December 4, 2011


   In Belgium there are two main languages, Flemish and Walloon (a version of French) and the two languages are spoken in different regions.
   In Flemish Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Vrolijk Kerstfeest' and in Walloon 'djoyeus Noyé'. 
   On Christmas Eve ('Kerstavond' in Flemish and 'le réveillion de Noël' in Walloon), a special meal is eaten by most families. It starts with a drink (apéritif) and 'nibbles', followed by a 'starter' course such as sea-food, and then stuffed turkey. The dessert is 'Kerststronk' (Flemish) or 'la bûche de Noël' (Walloon) a chocolate Christmas Log made of sponge roll layered with cream. The outside is covered with chocolate butter cream and made to resemble a bark-covered log.

   As in Holland, children in Belgium have two Christmas visitors! On December 6th, St. Nicholas' Day, 'Sinterklaas/St. Niklaas' (Flemish) or 'Saint Nicholas' (Walloon) is believed to bring presents to children. This is quite a long time before Christmas. Different regions of Belgium have different customs and traditions about St. Nicholas. On Christmas day (25th), Santa Claus might bring some more presents if you're really lucky!
   Small family Christmas presents are also given at Christmas too, under the tree, or in stockings near the fire-place, to be found in the morning or opened on Christmas Eve.
The traditional Christmas breakfast is the same as the normal Sunday breakfast eaten throughout the year. This is freshly baked crusty rolls (bakeries do their best trade on

   Sundays in the Flanders region) with butter & cold meats and/or jam, followed by pastries (like Danish pastries) called "koffiekoek(en)" (meaning coffee cake(s) as they are normal eaten with a cup of coffee!). In Walloon districts (the south of Belgium), a special sweet bread called 'cougnou' or 'cougnolle' made in a shape that is supposed to be like baby Jesus is eaten for Christmas breakfast.
   Some families have Advent Crowns made from fir or leylandii greenery.


This comes from www.sewmanyways.blogspot.com.

Hello and welcome to Tool Time Tuesday. For the next few weeks or more, I am going to gear these TTT posts towards Christmas...maybe do some decorating posts or maybe gift giving ideas. I know it may seem early, but we all know those nights of making or decorating at the last minute. So why don't you join me in doing one or two crafts a week, so you can actually enjoy the holidays without all the rushing around.

Here is the first project for the holidays....A Santa Can. Make one this week for yourself and then make another one for gift giving. It's perfect and practically FREE!

Do you remember the post I did showing flower arrangements for a school fundraiser. I went to local restaurants and pizza places and asked them for their large metal cans that tomatoes come in. They were happy to give them to me for free. They are the big ones...7 inches high and 6 inches across at the top.(note: Lowes or Home Depot have unused paint cans of different sizes you could probably use also)

That's one in the picture below. You will also need red spray paint, something to make a black belt and a belt buckle. Pictures on this next...

Here are some ideas for Santa's black belt. Old leather belts that don't fit any more (I don't want to talk about the not fitting part) or elastic belts that you can adjust to fit.

How about an old strap from a camera or bag that you aren't using any more.

You can also cut black fabric and fold the raw edges into the middle...no sewing! You can also use trim, satin ribbon or ric rac too.

If you aren't using an actual belt, you'll need a buckle. You can cut one off an old belt or use 2 D rings. D rings are the things you find on a belt most of the time made with ribbon or a scarf. Another idea to make a shiny belt buckle is to cut open a soda can, trace a template of a buckle on the inside metal and cut it out with tin snips. Actually, the can is so soft, I cut it with a small pair of scissors.

Just find a picture of a buckle and draw it out on card board.

Then trace it on the inside of the can.

The next step is to spray the can. I sprayed it upside down so the paint won't get inside the can.

Now for the ideas...
a place to hold all the Christmas cards you receive over the holidays.

Add some evergreens cut fresh from outside for the scent of the holidays.

Add some berries for a beautiful centerpiece. These were some fake berries I already had, but real ones from your yard would be beautiful too.

Then add a little HO HO HO sign for the perfect greeting at your front door. I bought this sign after Christmas for 10 cents. You can easily make one by printing the words out on your computer, tracing it on cardboard...a little paint and glitter and you're done!

These large cans would be great for centerpieces, but wouldn't a little vegetable can or those tiny tomato paste cans be cute decorated the same way, but used for place card holders at the dinner table. Ohh, I need to make one of those!! I'll show you if I do! Add that to the list of "To Do's"

Here's a little break down of the cost:
  • cans...free
  • belt...free (because it doesn't fit...wahhh!)
  • evergreen...free
  • berries...I had them, but maybe $2.00 if you had to buy a bunch)
  • Ho Ho Ho...10 cents or free if you make one
  • red spray paint...I had it, but $3.00 for the can if you need to buy it
I'm thinking of 2 words...CUTE and CHEAP!

Have a great Tuesday,




Christmas is the time of year when families and friends get together to mark a joyous occasion – the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But just as the “first family” was alone in a manger on that first Christmas morn, countless numbers of people across the country will find themselves similarly isolated, by choice or by happenstance.

If you’re fine being alone on Christmas, then you’re all set. But, if you prefer to be with others, then finding things to do on one of the quietest days of the year can be a bit of a challenge. Look around – you may find that things aren’t as still as you thought they were – with opportunities awaiting you on December 25.

1. Candlelight Services – Some churches will be holding services on Christmas Day, with a handful offering candlelight services at the crack of dawn. If you’re an early riser and enjoy Christmas carols, then this can be a great way for you to start your Christmas. If you prefer to sleep in, late morning services will also be held.

2. Soup Kitchens – Providing a Christmas dinner for people who won’t have one is the job of many soup kitchens around the country. Some kitchens can use volunteers to help out – consider offering your hands to dish out food and your smiles to convey warmth for a few hours on Christmas Day. You’ll get a chance to mingle with other food servers and sit down and enjoy a hot meal yourself.

3. Nursing Homes – Many elderly people will be spending their holiday alone or in the company of other people who are aged, infirm or both. Your local nursing home may welcome your visit even if you’re not related to anyone living there. Stop by, bring some smiles and shake hands and offer hugs to patients and staff alike – you’ll bring some Christmas joy to people needing to know that others truly do care for them.

4. Movie Debuts – New movies make their debut just before or right on Christmas Day. You may be surprised to find local theaters packed, filled with people who don’t celebrate Christmas and with those who are simply looking for something different to do to complete their day. On Christmas, “The Illusionist” debuts. For the week leading up to Christmas “The Little Flockers,” “Gulliver’s Travels,” “True Grit,” and “Country Strong” are among the releases you’ll be able to take in.

5. Eat Out – Besides taking in a movie, you’ll be able to take out Chinese food or, in some cases, eat in. Count on it: a significant number of Chinese restaurants will be open on Christmas. Whoever heard of a Chinese restaurant closing for the day? Well, some do – but there are plenty of other restaurants who purposefully stay open to serve Yuletide diners.

6. Go Skiing – Ski resorts will be open on Christmas Day, providing skiers a chance to enjoy trails and hills without the usual crowds. Some resorts are offering specials and with Christmas 2010 on a Saturday, this could prove to be the ideal weekend getaway for you. Visit the resort’s website for package deals and other specials.

7. Try Skating – If you live in an area where winter weather is prevalent, then you can take in some ice-skating. In D.C., its the Pentagon Row Ice Skating Rink. In New York, its Rockefeller Center. Chicago’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Christmas Day and in St. Louis the Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park is open from 10 a.m. until midnight. In Boston, the Boston Commons Frog Pond is closed on Christmas Day, but if the conditions are right, you’ll find plenty of places to skate nearby. Check with your city’s park commision for available places to skate and times.

8. Public Parks – Unless the park is gate-controlled, you’ll be able to enjoy a visit to your favorite city park on December 25. If you’re in our nation’s capital, you’ll find that the Arlington National Cemetery opens promptly at 8 a.m. every day of the year including on Christmas. The United States Botanic Garden is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate located 16 miles south of the city is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – please note that the estate’ restaurant is closed on Christmas.

9. Retail Shopping – Surprise! In some cities, stores are open on Christmas Day. Well, not the big department stores or those where the vast majority of employees celebrate the holiday. Stroll the city streets and you’ll find a handful of merchants open, ready to serve you. Some will operate on abbreviated hours, opening late or closing early.

10. Make Dinner – The chances that you know other people who will be alone for Christmas are perhaps greater than you think. Lots of folks have family stretched across the country and simply cannot visit for the holidays. Why not host a dinner party for these people? Consider potluck or prepare the main dishes yourself, leaving breads, desserts, wine and drinks to your guests. Ask everyone to bring one small gift for a grab bag gift exchange, deck your place in Christmas regalia and turn on some merry music to make this holiday a special one.
   For some people Christmas is an endurance test, a time of the year they hope passes by quickly. Past memories are not always pleasant, but you can make new memories – and good ones – starting with this Christmas.


Saks Fifth Ave

Holiday Windows 2011

Holiday Windows 2011

Holiday Windows 2011

Holiday Windows 2011

Holiday Windows 2011

Holiday Windows 2011

Holiday Windows 2011

Holiday Windows 2011

Bergdorf Goodman

Tiffany & Co.


Barneys holiday windows 2011
Barneys holiday windows 2011

Barneys holiday windows 2011