This & That (Aka. Social Saturday, but on a Wednesday)

A plate of cranberry tarts in front of a vase of holly berries and fairy lights

Happy Wednesday Dear Readers! It’s not Saturday, but I only had bits and pieces of things to post, and since some of the things I wanted to share are Christmas related, I didn’t feel like waiting until Social Saturday. (It kind of reminds me of The Lego Movie, where they change the name of the day from “Taco Tuesday to Freedom Friday… but still on a Tuesday!”)

Anyway, enough about Lego and onto the Christmas content.

rolling out pastry to make tart shells and tart pans filled with cranberry tarts

Firstly, the baking has begun. Today, we’re making Christmas tarts, which is our family’s main seasonal tradition. Pretty much all of our traditions revolve around food. That’s pretty grand, now that I think about it. We make Cranberry Tarts, (also called Mock Cherry Pie) and Coconut Tarts. Discovering that I am sensitive to gluten was so sad, because I couldn’t eat the tarts anymore, until we found this excellent gluten free pastry recipe.

cup of tea with a piece of christmas cake sitting on the saucer

The other recipe we make every year is my mom’s excellent Mincemeat Christmas Cake. Our house is divided on this, with people either loving it or hating it. I love mincemeat, so I’m firmly in the “Love It” camp. Do you like spiced mincemeats and Christmas cakes?

New this year, we also tried making our own chocolate covered cherries. They’re still full of everything that’s bad for you, but they did turn out very good! They have more of a Creme Egg style centre, rather than a liquid centre, but apparently the longer you wait, the runnier they get. We followed this recipe, which was really easy to make, and we had everything on hand already.

advent scripture cards hanging from mini clothespins on a string across the mantle

In other Christmas news, we have started a new Advent tradition. We were a bit late to the party, only getting these hung up on the weekend, but we purchased the printable “Truth for The Day” Advent Cards from Home Made Lovely, and strung them across the mantle with mini clothespins. I absolutely love how they look- the illustrations are adorable- and it’s so fun to turn over the card each day as we approach Christmas.  I also just love how we decorated the mantle this year! My Grandma gave my mom these silver deer candlesticks she had, and they look so great against the stone fireplace. And of course the fairy lights on top of the garland add such a nice sparkle.

mantle decorated for christmas with a silver deer candlestick and a garland with fairy lights

Another download, a free one this time, is this adorable printable from Sincerely Marie Designs for 12 Days of Christmas ornaments. I haven’t printed them yet, since I want to see if I can transfer them onto small wood cookies. I saw a set of ornaments like that earlier this year, and I think that would be so cute.

baby headbands with bows and fabric yo-yos

Onto other topics, I’ve been making baby headbands again. We’ve got so many little ones on the way in my church, so I’ve been working on making these yo-yos and bows and have been listening to The Silmarillion audiobook as I stitch.  I tried reading the book, but it was so dry I had to give up. Then I thought to get an audio book from the library, which is so much more enjoyable. (The copy I got is voiced by Martin Shaw).

felted beret and mittens with a flower added to the hat

I also made a brown felted wool flower to add to the wool beret I made a couple of years ago. I never wear this hat, because it’s too stiff to maneuver and “flop” and so it always just looked like it needed something; the felt flower is the perfect touch. I also made some felted wool mittens to match earlier this year, but I don’t think I ever posted them, so here they are now. If you want to make your own, here’s my tutorial.

screenshot of poshmark shop new listings

I also made a few more headbands and hair clips for my Poshmark shop. That pink flower is one-of-a-kind. While I love how it turned out, I won’t make another out of that pink satin, because it was so hard to singe the edges! Once they started melting, they kept going, and I had to throw away so many petals with holes in them. It would look so pretty tucked into an updo for a formal occasion, wouldn’t it? I also added some more photography and other artwork, including some of my favourite mini art cards and paintings.

reorganized closet with capsule winter wardrobe hanging

In other topics, I also recently reorganized my closet; the way I had set it up last January just wasn’t working for me anymore. Basically I had categories too spread out, with some things on shelves, some in drawers and some hanging. I have now separated it, putting all of my loungewear and working clothes (as in grungy work) out of the closet and into my dresser drawer. I took all of my sweaters and cardigans off of the shelf and hung them on padded hangers. Then I put my large purses on the top shelf above the rod, my berets on my shoe shelf, all of the winter hats on stands on my dresser, and my scarves and fur collars on the back of my door (except for one that is too big, which is hanging). It is working so much better for me to be able to clearly see at a glance all of the pieces in my winter capsule wardrobe, without being distracted by loungewear and other things that don’t go in that capsule! I have found over the years that if I don’t have things out where I can see them, I just won’t remember to wear them, so it’s working so much better to have out-of-season items stored on the side shelves in my closet, and the in-season items out in front.

Not related to closets entirely, but sort of, I enjoyed this post by Gillian Dunn, about using your special items everyday.

I also was going to share this post about Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s fashion inspiration in my last Social Saturday, and I forgot, so here it is now. I love how classic her looks are. You can obviously tell it’s the 90’s and yet it’s still elegant. (And I absolutely love her neutral palette.)

And finally, unrelated to anything, this post about the themes in A Tale of Two Cities (one of my favourite books!) is very good. I read the book back in May, but didn’t see this blog post until a while later. It’s a very good article, but DO NOT read it if you haven’t read A Tale of Two Cities, since there are major spoilers!

Well, I think that’s all that I have for today. I hope your week and your December is going well…there’s only 11 days until Christmas!