Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.
This past weekend, my company took part in a charity holiday tree decorating event. For the past couple of weeks my co-workers and I have been collecting ornaments and trimmings to decorate the perfect tree. Saturday morning, we met at the old school building to decorate our tree for the upcoming Festival of Trees. And although we had enough decorations to trim not one, but two trees, we realized we had neglected to bring tree skirts! Even though that wasn’t required, the skirts give the trees a finished look that ours were lacking. So back home I went to see what I had handy in my fabric bin. I found this pretty piece of soft polar bear fleece
1. Fold the fleece in half lengthwise and make sure it is long enough to go around the base of the tree.
2. Cut the unfolded end into a semi-circle, making sure the edges are even. I happen to have a round dining room table which was the perfect pattern, but you can just do the old pie plate method where you fold it in 1/2 and then cut an arc from corner to corner.
I typically measure these lengths to 5-6 inches, but this time I just used the scissors as my guide and did one cut to the end of the blades for each strip. The deeper the cuts, the longer the fringe.
4. Moving around the arc, you need to cheat in just a bit; the top of the cut will be a bit narrower than the edge.
5. Once the semi-circle is cut, you can start knotting. Take a top and bottom strip that match up.
Tie the ends into decorative knots I use a square knot, but you can do any type you like. I took pics of this, but their not very clear so check out this Animated Decorative Knots by Grog-any type of knot is illustrated here!
6. Knot all the way around the arc, creating the fringe effect, until you get to the other side.
7. Decision time! To have this skirt fit properly you can leave the folded edge as is and just drape it around the tree base to create a “blanketed” look like this. It reminds me of Linus’ blanket wrapped around Charlie Brown’s little tree.
OR you can cut a semi-circle in the middle of the folded half that is large enough to accommodate the tree base. This will allow the skirt to lay flatter on the floor. Either way is great and your holiday tree will look pretty and toasty warm.
8. Step back and admire your decorated tree : ) We did good, ladies!
Total time for the skirt: 45 minutes. And, at this time of year the local craft stores stock an endless style and variety of fleece designs, so you can do anything from a jazzy zebra print to Star Wars to a Frozen theme. Have a warm and toasty Sunday everyone!! Susan
One of our annual Thanksgiving family favorite desserts is chocolate cream pie. Over the years, I have baked many an apple, pumpkin or squash pie, only to see them get pushed aside in favor of the creamy-chocolate-graham-cracker-crust delight. This year, I made the chocolate pies (shhh, no one knows that I served one, but there is another one left in the fridge), but also created a new family favorite: S’Mores Chocolate Pie Bites!
These yummy little clouds of toasty chocolate goodness were a fam favorite, and sure to become another traditional holiday treat! I originally saw these marshmallow melted cups transformed into shot glasses, but since this was a kid-friendly holiday, I decided to create the pie bites instead. Here is the How-I-Did-It:
These are quite simple to make and only require four key ingredients: Chocolate Pudding Mix… I used the Jello Cook and Serve Chocolate Fudge Pudding.
I was making the pies at the same time and planned to use the pudding as the filling, but you could certainly save some time and make the instant stuff. Milk to make the pudding according to the box, Large Marshmallows…these Jet Puffed Marshmallows
1.Toast the marshmallows. If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the country where freezing cold weather is not a factor, then do this outside on your firepit or campfire. We, unfortunately, had quite a snow fall on the day I was making these, so the stove top burner it was. Mine is a glass topped burner, so I just cranked it to high.
2. Spear the marshmallow with whatever implement you wish to use. I tried a single metal skewer but the marshmallow kept turning as the inside melted. This three-tined fork was the perfect length and the tines created heating holes that caused the inside of the marshmallow to melt more evenly.
Now, don’t ask me why, but the fork handle never got hot to the touch. Which was interesting, because the hot glow from the burner on HIGH made me feel like I was under a sun lamp!
3. Starting with the bottom, hold the marshmallow over your heat source approximately 1-2 inches above the surface.
DO NOT TOUCH THE BURNER. Hold it there until you see a light smoking from the marshmallow, this means the sugar is starting to melt. Time to turn the marshmallow. Look at that-a thing of golden sugary beauty!
4. Repeat around the sides, turning when you see the pale smoke trail as you lightly brown each side until the entire marshmallow,
…this is what happens when Coach distracts you and asks a question about the upcoming Holiday Fair in the Barn at Todd Farm.
5. Remove the marshmallow from your fork using another implement- DO NOT USE YOUR FINGER!! The interior of the marshmallow is HOT and melty.
6. Place toasted marshmallow on foil to cool. Not wax paper, that will melt. And then you’ll have a S’Mores Pie Waxed Paper Bites. As they cool, you will notice that the marshmallow centers begin to implode, but the toasted exteriors stay upright. The hot melted middles sink down, creating the cup vessel you will need to hold the pudding. So cool!!
7. Make your pudding according to the instructions on the box. This is the cook-‘n serve style, so it takes a few minutes cooking in a sauce pan to get to the molten lava stage.
8. Using a teaspoon, fill the toasted marshmallow cups to the top (each one will take about a teaspoon of pudding). I was a bit worried that the hot pudding would disintegrate the marshmallow cups, but they were little toasty troopers and stood up fine.
9. Immediately sprinkle with the graham cracker crumbs. This is a sprinkle-as-you-go project…you have to add the crumbs to each one after you fill them.
If you wait until the pudding has cooled, the crumbs will just fall off. And you cannot have a S’Mores Chocolate Pie Bite without graham cracker crumbs!
10. Cool in fridge. An hour or so should do, since each S’Mores Chocolate Pie Bite only holds about a teaspoon of pudding.
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving that you shared with family and friends. Now it’s time to go continue with the kitchen clean-up…hope you’re planning s’more fun today! Susan
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Happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends and the wonderful people in my life who make me a better person every day…in the words of the great Kelly Clarkson…
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Ok, so I’m running a bit behind schedule, so what else is new? I typically do my best work when I’m up against it anyway. Sipping my morning coffee, trying to find some Thanksgiving inspiration that I could replicate with stuff I have on hand and with little time to spare. Searching Houzz.com for creative and pretty ideas, I scored with a few fab finds that might just end up on my dining room table. Hopefully they will inspire you too…
1. This tablescape by… loving the striking simplicity of the white pumpkins and candles by Ann West Interiors.
2. Stunning autumn colorful tablescape by Anita Diaz for Far Above Rubies
3. Thankful tree from the French Larkspur Blog. This is so sweet. Except for the bird. But at least its encased in glass.
4. Gratitude. I LOVE THIS. One word says it all. This one by Amelia Hirsch Design.
5. Elegant chocolate brown tablescape by Focal Point Styling.
6. Every time I see this holiday mantel from It’s the Little Things it makes me smile : ) So much to be thankful for this year.
7. Blue and white and gold by Savvy Southern Style . This I can do because I essentially have one of everything on this table.
8. This place setting page by This Is Happiness Blog would be lovely to set on everyone’s plate to have them write what they might be thankful for and then share.
9. Simply rustic elegance. By Rikki Snyder NY. Love the acorn jute rope napkin rings and the mason jars. You all know how much I love mason jars!
10. Sweet white and black chandelier decorated with burlap, berries and oversized acorns on Houzz.com. (This one did not have a source listed, but if anyone knows who the rightful designer of this chandelier is, please let me know…I always want to give credit where credit is due : )
Which reminds me, I need to go finish painting the chandelier I started last month! Gotta go! Have an inspired Tuesday, everyone! Susan