Friday, January 4, 2013


 This comes from www.marthastewart.com .  Almost anyone will enjoy making and setting these out for the holidays.

Create a Winter Wonderland in a Jar

Create a Winter Wonderland in a Jar

The shimmering magic of snowfall is always transfixing, whether it's outside your window or inside this classic toy. Homemade globes let you create a wintry scene straight out of your own imagination.

Almost any jar works for this project: Baby-food, pimiento, and olive jars are good choices. Look for plastic or ceramic figurines (metal ones are prone to rust) at flea markets and hobby or model-railroad shops. Synthetic evergreen tips are available at many floral-supply stores. You will also need oil-based enamel paint, sandpaper, epoxy, distilled water, glitter, and glycerin (available at drugstores).

Add Distilled Water and Glitter

If the jar lids are not in seasonal colors already, paint them with oil-based enamel paint. Sand the inside of the lid until the surface is rough. With clear-drying epoxy, adhere the figurine to the inside of the lid, and let the epoxy dry.

Fill the jar almost to the top with distilled water; add a pinch of glitter and a dash of glycerin to keep the glitter from falling too quickly. Don't add too much, or the glitter will stick to the bottom of the jar when it's flipped. Screw on the lid tightly, being careful not to dislodge the figurine. Turn the jar over and back again -- and let it snow.

Sleigh-Ride Snow Globe

For a more professional look, you can also assemble a snow globe using a water globe and base. With a little shake, our customized snow globe even jingles! The horse, sleigh, and pine tree are model-train-set props. The bell-harness can be made with red and black enamel paint and tiny silver beads.

Customize the Snow Scene with Paint

To customize the water globe, paint the base, the sleigh's interior, and the jingle harness red; glue on silver beads for bells and waxed twine for reins.
When real snow is nowhere to be found -- as is the case in many parts of the United States in December -- you can conjure up a one-horse-sleigh ride. With a little shake, our customized snow globe even jingles. The horse, sleigh, and pine tree are model-train-set props. The bell-harness was made with red and black enamel paint and tiny silver beads; the reins were made from waxed twine.

Sleigh-Ride Snow Globe

Tools and Materials
6-inch water globe with base
Sculpey modeling clay
O scale horses and sleigh, legacystation.com (or use other small toys)
Paint (for base and sleigh)
Silver beads (for bells)
Waxed twine (for reins)
Aluminum foil
Drill with a 3/32-bit
Screw and washer
Silicone sealant
Ribbon and bells (optional, for base)
Note: Assembling the globe takes two days, so plan accordingly.

Snow Globe How-To

1. To customize, paint base, sleigh's interior, and jingle harness red; glue on silver beads for bells and waxed twine for reins.
2. For snowbank, shape Sculpey clay over an aluminum-foil form, making sure resulting bank fits atop gasket inside base and is visible inside globe.
3. Press tree, sleigh, and horse into clay to make indentations. Bake clay according to label. Drill a hole into center of bottom of patty with a 3/32-bit; attach to gasket with a screw and washer. Cover seams with silicone sealant. Glue figures in place with sealant. Presoak snow, fill globe with water, and seal. Tie ribbon and bells around base.


Peanut Butter Truffles

   The combo of peanut butter and chocolate is oh, so divine. Top these rolled truffles with finely chopped peanuts, and you'll have a delicious sweet-and-savory match.

Peanut Butter Truffles

  • 2
    cups sugar
  • 1
    ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1/2
    cup butter
  • 2
    cups tiny marshmallows
  • 3/4
    cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2
    teaspoon vanilla
  • 12
    ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2
    teaspoons shortening
  • Finely chopped peanuts (optional)
1.Butter the side of a medium heavy saucepan. In the saucepan, combine sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture is boiling. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2.Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in marshmallows, peanut butter, and vanilla. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until mixture is thick and can be molded.
3.Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes.
4.In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip balls, one at a time, into melted chocolate. Let excess chocolate drip off balls. Place on a wire rack set over waxed paper. If desired, sprinkle with peanuts. Let stand until chocolate is set.* Makes about 50 truffles.

Kitchen Tip:
  • If desired, when chocolate is set, drizzle with a little melted milk chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is set.
  • Layer truffles between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


    The most famous ball in America will make it's decent into Times Square this December, ringing in more than just another "Happy New Year"! among fellow Americans. While it may be the largest New Year's Eve Ball ever to grace New York City. It may also be the most eco-friendly ball as well. The new ball is 20% more energy efficient than the previous one, which will make it a sure crowd pleaser for the many Americans who are becoming more eco-conscious. At 12 feet across and 11,875 pounds, the ball will be the largest ball to drop in Times Square since the beginning of the tradition. It also contains 2,668 Waterford Crystals and 32,256 LED's, which make the ball capable of producing more than 16 million colors and several billion patterns. It will be the most beautiful and breathtaking New Year's Eve Ball to date. But where did the idea for the ball come from? Who started this tradition, and when was the Waterford Crystal introduced into this famous past time?

the ball from 1978

The History of the New Year's Eve Ball and the Waterford Crystal

    In 1907, Jacob Starr created a giant ball combining wood, iron, and one hundred 25 watt light bulbs. The New Year's Eve Ball would become known as one of the most famous tributes tot he New Year in American history. Weighing in at 700 pounds and stretching 5 feet across, the new tradition was born. The first ball was used every year until 1920, when it was replaced with a 400 pound wrought iron ball. From the twenties to the mid fifties the ball remained unchanged.
    Unfortunately, during World War II, the New Year's Eve Ball did not make its usual descent to earth. In 1942 and 1943, the ball remained unlit in fear of war time enemies attacking. However, in 1944, the famous New Yorker returned to it's beloved place high atop Times Square.

2000-2007 ball

    In 1955, the ball was replaced yet again for a third time to a smaller, 200 pound aluminum ball. While the ball was lighter in weight, it was no less famous and no less elegant, and this ball reigned until the 1980's.
    1981 brought a new decade for the ball, while the original ball itself was not actually replaced, the light bulbs, were replaced with red ones. The pole from which the famous ball dropped was painted green-all of this was done to simulate a "Big Apple". This was being done to promote the "I Love New York" campaign-more famously known today as the "I heart NY T-shirts, coffee mugs and so forth that we see today. The ball was returned to its famous bright white bulbs in 1989, at the end of the campaign.

   Aside from a few colored light bulbs and a new paint job, the New Year's Eve Ball remained the same for 40 years. In 1995, the ball was all but brought into the new century. It was updated to an aluminum skin with strobe lights, rhinestone gems and more-all generated by computers. This was also the beginning of the true Waterford Crystal that we know and love today.
    For the millennium, the ball was completely designed. Aside from the ball that will grace New York's Time Square this December, the ball form weighed in at over 1,000 pounds-making it the largest in both weight and width (at 6 feet across). It contained a mixture of 168 halogen bulbs and 432 light bulbs of red, green, blue, yellow and white-which were all used in different "Hope" campaign themes.
    This famous New Yorker has been around for over 100 years and will be making its drop from 475 feet above Times Square.


  1. You wish you had eaten less. This is one of the most common complaints after the holiday. Why did you stuff down that last huge piece of ham or turkey, or that second dessert? Now you've gained five or ten pounds and you'll have to spend January and February working it off.

  2. You wish you had done what you wanted. Every year during the holidays, many people find themselves being pulled in ten different directions. Grandma wants you at her house at noon for dinner, mom wants you to unwrap gifts at her house at 11. Your friends want to get together at 3 p.m., and then your aunt asks you to drop by at 2. After the day is over, you find you put more miles on your car in one day than you did during the whole month of December. You're exhausted, stressed out, and wish you had just stayed home in bed.

  3. The desire to go back and get people different Christmas gifts. Now that you see your brother didn't really need a new razor, but could have used a gift certificate, you start wishing you had actually asked your relatives what they wanted before you bought them gifts they can't use.

  4. The desire not to have bought gifts for anyone. Your realized that much of the spirit of the holiday season was lost by reducing the time you spent together to a gift exchange. You wish that you had just met to enjoy the time instead of going all over the town buying gifts to take up the whole holiday time.

  5. You wish you had had more time. The holidays pass so quickly, it's as it they passed in the glimpse of an eye. You wish there was some way to go back and not waste time arguing, or buying gifts, so that you could enjoy every single moment.

  6. You wish you had forgone that argument with a loved one. Chances are, you probably got in a huge argument with someone you really care about, it was about something stupid, and you wish you had just turned the other way instead of allowing a huge argument to ensue. Now, you and your mother aren't even talking.

  7. You wish you had realized how special the day was. Perhaps you went in with a "bah humbug " attitude, and just sat around moping the whole day. Now you wish you had thought for a minute about how nice it was that the family got together, so you would have appreciated it more.