Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year’s Eve, 2013!!!

Snowy Christmas 2012 002

Baby, its COLD outside!
We've had snow off & on for days now.

The trees have a thick blanket of snow on their branches.


Our Christmas wreath is covered in the white stuff!


Just look at that dreary, grey sky.
It is very slippery outside, too.


Not much light shining through these lanterns!


icey gazebo

There is ice on the windows & sidewalks...
it is very treacherous to walk,
even with my "FUGGS"...
Ms. C. informed me that is what 
they call faux UGG boots.
That kid cracks me up!  LOL 


So we're staying inside, 
nice & safe & cozy by the fireplace,
on New Year's Eve, this year.
"Amateurs Night" as my hubby calls it. 


 I've prepared a cheese & cracker platter
along with some crab puffs as our
appetizers to go with champagne.


The crab puffs are REALLY easy...
just open the box & bake!

 I have freshly steamed lobsters ordered
from our local store, for our dinner.
All I have to do is melt the butter &
get out the cracking tools!


Frozen cranberries will help to keep the champagne chilled.

 We prefer Asti Spumanti for such special celebrations...
or just "Asti" as it is referred to lately.


I have some pretty bottle stoppers to help retain
some of the fizz while we slowly sip,
because, as you know, you'll NEVER
get that cork back into the bottle! 


A single soft pink rose, 

"Love, Gratitude & Appreciation"

 adds to the ambiance.

Did you know that the different colors
of roses have different meanings?
Proflowers.com has a long list of the
various colors & their meanings.







I've heard it said that if you have 3 of anything,
then you've got a *collection* going.
I guess I have a collection of bottle stoppers
started, then. 


Last year, one of my birthday gifts,
 from my beautiful daughter was this
black velvet & silver case, containing
an intricately carved bottle stopper 
with 3 onyx stones & 2 sparkling chips.
I don't think they're real diamonds
but they sure are pretty!
Another birthday gift from my step-daughter
was this Oleg Cassini crystal bottle stopper,


etched with the initial of both my first & last name.


My husband bought us the crystal heart shaped stopper,
as an anniversary gift one year...
we were married on Valentines Day,
so *hearts* are very significant & sentimental
 symbols for us. 


 I'm so very grateful to be able to share a 
hug & a kiss & a toast 
for one more
  "Happy New Year" together!
The older we get,
the more we cherish
just one more day.


I hope each of you has a wonderfully happy &
more importantly, HEALTHY
New Year!

Thank you for all your wonderful comments & 
for sharing bits & pieces of your lives & 
the world where you live.
I've enjoyed your visits immensely &
hope to continue to visit with you
in 2014.

I'm linking to Cuisine Kathleen's 
"Lets Dish" party,
Marty's A Stroll Thru Life for "Inspire Me"
"Tablescape Thursday" &
Michael Lee's Foodie Friday at
Rattlebridge Farm &
The Tablescaper for "Seasonal Sundays".

Thank you, Ladies, for a really fun & educational year
of blog parties.
You're the BEST!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My “Countdown To Christmas” Quilt

Back in September,
I shared my "Countdown to Christmas"
quilt top, once I finished piecing it.

At that stage, it is called a "flimsy" 
because it is so lightweight...
no batting or backing or quilting.

The star points are supposed to be  
"wonky", as in different lengths &
with points not touching the edges.
They are to appear as if
they float within the
large white square.

The free pattern, called "Starrey Eyed Quilt"
(not a typo... that is how they spelled it)
is available on Moda's website

DSC_3775 framed

 I picked it up from Janice at
The Ewe Tree... the gal who
does my the long arm machine quilting,
just in time for Christmas.
I was thrilled with how she quilted it!
I gave her free reign &
 just told her to "have Fun doing it!"

DSC_3774 mc

 She does all hand-guided quilting, 
nothing computerized.
I love how she placed swirls & 
curly-Q's inside the squares.
That technique of juxtaposing patterns
always adds interesting contrast for the eye.

DSC_3773 framed

All month, I've had the quilt draped
 over the banister railing,
 leading downstairs, 
where everyone who came to visit 
could immediately see it. 

I hate to put it away!
I think I'll leave it over the back
 of the sofa in my sewing room,
where I can enjoy seeing it every day!

I hope YOU enjoyed seeing it today, too.
Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

I'm linking to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday
as well as Marty's Inspire Me on Tuesday &
The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sundays.

Please stop by these wonderful ladies' blogs for
much more inspiration, in so many other forms.
They provide lots of *calorie-free eye candy*! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Cookies


 We're still enjoying lots of Christmas Cookies 
here at The Gazebo House.
These darling little *Brownie Bites* came from
my local grocery store,  Giant Eagle & were delicious...
They would be easy to make with a
boxed brownie mix & your mini muffin pan!


 If you look closely, you can see that the sprinkles are 
in the shape of candy canes.


 It is tea time now & I'm enjoying
some of the cookies that I made...
Toffee Studded Snickerdoodles!


The recipe is from Hershey's website here:



My fun little snowman teapot 
sits nearby my apothecary jar.
His hat is the cover to the sugar bowl
which is his head,
his middle section is the creamer &
the lower portion forms the 
actual teapot base.

Isn't he cute?
You did know that I collect teapots, right?
You can see part of my collection HERE & HERE.


 This pretty machine embroidered
 hemstitched linen hand towel is doing
double duty as a napkin today.


 After doing the embroidery design,
I hand stitched two pieces of a narrow, 
satin ribbon at the back of
each side of the towel, 
then threaded it from both sides,
through the openings in the hem stitching.
Tie a bow at the middle & you're done!


 Another big, sparkley bow &
some glittery snowflakes add
to the festive look.


I hope you are still enjoying the warmth
and glow of the Season!

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish on Wednesday &
The Tablescaper's Season Sundays party, too. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Tablescape, 2013


 I ♥♥♥ the hushed calm that comes over the world 
as night falls on Christmas Eve.

My daughter & her husband, 
along with their three children will
join us for dinner
after the children's Mass is over.


This year, we don't have any other family members coming, 
so everyone will sit at the dining room table.  

Won't the Littlest Angel feel extra special, 
no longer relegated to the 
"children's table"?! 


My table looks similar to last year but is still a little different.
Bright RED chargers set off my
Lenox "Holiday" patterned china...
don't you think they should have spelled that "HOLLYday"??

I'm mixing in some Lenox "Eternal" & "Winterberry" items 
just so it doesn't look so *matchy-matchy*  

Each place setting has a gold 
swirly-scrolled box 
with chocolate candy inside.  
(Frango Mints, made in Chicago)

My son in law was born there & 
did his undergraduate degree
at Northwestern University.  
They had the same mints on the tables 
at their wedding 19 years ago, this same week!


I am ever so grateful to my little sister, 
for giving me our Mom's
 vintage ruby-red based crystal stems! 

I was able to find a few more pieces 
to add to the collection, 
so now I've got 
water, wine/champagne & sherberts to use.


You can see a wee bit of the gold threads 
in the cutwork tablecloth beneath in the photos.  

I had to repair a teeny-tiny scorch mark
 that a spark made when I was blowing out a candle.  
I hand stitched a scroll motif
over the scorched area
with gold metallic thread &
 you can't even tell where it was.


When I originally set the table, 
I put out some Waterford stems 
to go along with the vintage crystal.


Hubby walked by & said 
"What's up with all the glasses???" 

He talked me into moving them
to the bar area, to use
 for wine upon arrival,
but I'd already taken many of these photos.


 The centerpiece French horn with white silk poinsettias 
will get supplemented with fresh white roses
later today, so they will stay looking nice
as long as possible.


My favorite heavy lead crystal
Ralph Lauren candlesticks are 
surrounded with matching candle rings.


 The side table is set with several Fitz & Floyd pieces, 
ready for coffee or tea and dessert.
I made the "Courthouse Steps"
tablerunner last year.

(Free Pattern is HERE


Santa & his sleigh 
(two of them, actually) 
stand guard over the goodies!

I hope to be able to copy the white roses arrangement
 that I had professionally made for 
my tennis luncheon last year.  
Go here to see it: 
 White Rose Arrangements in Sleigh


I bought myself an early Christmas gift of 
salad tongs to match my Lenox dishes.  
I will use them for many months, 
as the holly & heart shaped berries 
will work beautifully all winter in Ohio.
(You'll probably see them again on Valentines Day!)



 Just a few more close-up shots so you can see the 
pretty etching on the bowls of the stemware.

Thanks Ruth E. for sending these to me!!!   
I just love them!



 I considered using some bigger red goblets that I have & 
then decided against them, 
but I wanted to include this photo of one, 
because you can see the reflection of 
the great room's arched window on it.


I don't know why I'm always so intrigued
 by surprise reflections, but I just am.


 I'm intending to put the ice cream filled sherberts on these pretty Christmas plates, along with some cookies for dessert.  


We'll be having Peppermint Stick ice cream,
 with its cute little red & green flecks of candy in it.



I made TONS of cookies...Chocolate Crinkles, 
shortbread with Ghiradelli chocolate drops,
Christmas Tree spritz cookies & 
Toffee Snickerdoodles along with the 
standard cut-out sugar cookies.

Below is one of several cute containers 
I found to use as a gift container.
A bakers dozen of round cookies fits inside perfectly!


Aren't they cute?
I wish I could give each one to each of you!
Thanks so much for visiting The Gazebo House today.
May you have a very
 Blessed Merry Christmas!!

I'm linking to Cuisine Kathleen's "Let's Dish" party,
Susan's Between Naps on the Porch for "Tablescape Thursday"
The Tablescaper for "Seasonal Sundays"
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for her party "Inspire Me"