Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

To all our family and friends we hold dear,
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Jerry, Barbie Jo, Jon and Cleo too

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cookies and more!

OOOOPS.....I posted my blog with no type, I think Christmas madness has taken over!
Okay, lets fix it. I love this magazine, I am always tempted to buy it for the beautiful photography on the cover and throughout. Just look at those cookies!

I did not make any of these cookies though, I just like to look at the beautiful presentation and then mix up a batch from one of my Moms recipes. My kids want the same cookies I have made forever and ever, no other type can do, there can be no variation or they would have a cow.
That being said, yesterday I made Candy Cane cookies. I have never seen this recipe anywhere, at least not the old original recipe. They are YUMMY and always requested when I give a platter of cookies, so Martha, if you need this recipe just give me a call!

This morning I was sifting through my Christmas fabric stash and came across this vintage piece. I have been saving it for a special project, just haven't found the right use for it yet. Isn't it darling! Cute kitties sound asleep waiting for Santy Claws to come. I love the colors!

The 1st spot I decorate each year is my china hutch. I have a collection of cute 50s era Christmas girl vase/figurines I cant wait to unwrap from their tissue nests and fill it with. How adorable are these little girls in their fur trimmed coats, little hats and muffs, all wrapped up for winter to deliver their gifts!

I hope you are ready for Christmas because I am so not! All of my out of town packages were mailed and then it seems I came to a screeching halt. I have not shopped for Jerry or Jon yet.
I just need to make one little swoop to get it done. Our weather has not been co operative for shopping. Like many in the Mid West we have been down to a bone chilling 1 degree with snow and ice off and on. I keep thinking, tomorrow I will go get it done. And probably everyone else will be doing the same so it will be a shopping nightmare!
7 days and counting, yikes, have a fabulous week!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Elves at play!!!!!

Well boy oh boy, Cleo and I are busy as elves this weekend. Lots to do!! Doing a little dance in-between our chores helps keep our spirits bright!

I found this fun video idea on my daughter Melissa's double stroller blog. She really keeps the fun rolling in her home. It took me about 2 hours to make and install this, I am not the savvy blogger she is for sure! Hope you enjoy and have a happy weekend!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy birthday William!

Today is a very special day, it's our Grandson Williams 3rd birthday! Here he is at his party last weekend, surrounded by 2 cute little girls, he is a chick magnet already! William loves trucks and cars, football and Thomas The Train. You are so loved William,
Happy Birthday!!

Today is also special as Jons girlfriend Carly is on her way home from Paris. She studied abroad this past semester. Needless to say he has been missing his best friend and has been kind of cranky these past few months. Today he is grinning from ear to ear, I am so happy to see his cheerful face again!
As for me, I am on my way out the door, a full afternoon of errands to run.
Can you believe its Friday again? Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cookies day 2!

Just whipping out these cookies right and left here! Today it was Thumbprints. If you have not made these before, and I just can't believe you have not, the recipe is below. These are fairly easy and one of my favorites!

One 10 oz Bag of Chopped Walnuts
Beat together:
1 Cup Shortening (1/2 butter)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Egg Yolk (reserve the whites in a separate bowl)
1 tsp Vanilla
Sift and stir in:
2 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in egg whites and roll in chopped nuts. Place on ungreased sheet, press thumb or paws in to centers.
Bake 375 degrees/10-12 minutes
Fill centers with icing. Recipe makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies.
Butter cream Icing
Beat together 1/2 stick Margarine, 1 tsp Vanilla, 1 Tb Milk
I use about 1/2 of a 2LB bag Powdered Sugar
Add powdered sugar alternately with more milk (1 Tb at a time) until icing is nice and fluffy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Anniversary Cleo!

Cleo has her stocking hung by the fire. A nice cozy spot for a kitty to hangout while waiting for Santa Claws to come and fill it with treats! Hmmmm.... I just noticed the large jingle bell on its toe is missing, now I wonder where that went. Thank heavens I don't hear Cleos tummy jingling when she hops up on my lap!
December is a special month for Cleo and Me, it is when I started my little pattern business 9 years ago! WOW, 9 years!! Hard to believe it has gone by so quickly. I still remember sitting on our deck with Jerry tossing names around. I had a list of names: Button Box Designs, Back porch Designs to name a few. None of them sounded just right. Cleo was just a baby at that time, she spent much of her time hanging out with me in my sewing room. Sewing stuff is pretty fascinating to a kitten as many of you know! And then it came to me, its just "Cleo and Me", no other name would do!
Today I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have supported me and my design work these past years. It has been such fun and continues to be a great joy in my life.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snowin' and blowin"!

Baby it is COLD out there! It started snowing this morning, the wind is whipping it around and our temps for tonight will be about 14. BRRRRR.... Definitely a good day to stay inside which is what I did. Our son Jon threw a little tantrum this morning, he wanted to know where his Christmas cookies were! Well if you have been reading my blog since last December you will know I gave my cookie cutters away, oh yes I did, I gave them to my daughters. I thought after 37 years of baking my Moms cookies it was time to pass the tradition their way. My Moms recipes are labor intensive, especially the cut outs which makes about 6 dozen cookies and there are only 3 of us here now. Jon said quote" well you have been making those cookies since I was a baby and you just have to make them" or something like that! I rolled my eyes to heaven and asked Mom what should I do.

And here is her answer LOL! Just bake the cookies Barbie Jo. So I put the Christmas music station on and got busy. I had only kept one cookie cutter, a gingerbread girl. I used drinking glasses to cut out wreaths and balls for the rest. I spent the ENTIRE day in the kitchen. But the oven kept me toasty and warm, the music was fun, and the cookies are cute as ever. I really kind of missed them too!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Moving right along

Moving right along here, I got a lot accomplished today! This morning I decorated the tree.
My tree is mostly covered with glass ornaments in the German tradition, I love the way they sparkle and shine, the ones with glitter and flocking, the glass birds with feathers. I just can't limit my tree to these however, there are always a few special ones tucked in like this cute little cinnamon stick reindeer I made one year. I'm sure you noticed, I love my reindeer!

Of course Cleo has her own special treasures hung on the tree. I collect vintage Fancy Feast ornaments for her and they are really cute.

Gotta love those sweet ones made by the kids, don't you just adore the raisin eyes LOL! I think Jon made this one and those raisins have gotta be about 20 years old now!

Our 1st Christmas I made all of our ornaments from bakers dough. It was a flour, water and salt dough recipe which you shaped and then baked in the oven. After they cooled you painted and glazed them. They were lots of work and I have very few left.

This afternoon I ran around town. One of my stops was Jo-anns fabric store and just look at this unexpected find. They had novelty Christmas fabric 60% off and there was Williams favorite Thomas The Train! Wooo hooo!!

Next I found this cute to boot cowboy Christmas fabric by Alexander Henry for Alexander. Alexs room is cowboy themed so I knew this would be perfect!

My intention was to sew Christmas pillowcases for their visit this week. A little something special to take home and put on their beds. Later this afternoon I found out their plans to come had to be cancelled darn it all. Now I'll just have to stitch them up and pop them in the mail real quick. So now I am headed up to the sewing room! Onward and upward, ho, ho, ho!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sleepless in KC

What do you do when you have a night where you just cant fall asleep no matter how tired you are? I used to get up and read a chapter, even sew a little or putter around the house. Lately I do a little blog surfing or write my next entry.
It sure is quiet here. Jerry has gone hunting for the weekend. Just Cleo and Me. I allow her to sleep in our bed when Daddy's gone. Probably one of the reasons I did not fall asleep easily. Cleo is a bed hog, and she snores! She sure is content.

Each year I search for new Christmas music to add to our collection. Nothing has struck my fancy until tonight, and then I found it, just one little song, by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It's called "Christmas Canon". If I shut my eyes for a moment I am drifting back to my childhood perhaps. It is Christmas Eve, we have gone to candlelight service at church. The windows are dressed with large wreaths and red bows, candles glow in the center of each. Large flakes of snow are drifting down. We children are fidgeting with Christmas Eve excitement. A strong piano introduction begins, a symphony joins in, children in their choir robes walk down the aisle singing and then fan out across the front of the church. They are singing the most beautiful song and we are overcome with awe. I feel bad when the song ends and this lovely vision disappears also. Was I dreaming LOL? Maybe you're thinking, sheesh, Barbie Jo really should get some rest now LOL!! I do enjoy my music. I guess I became lost in the moment. Yet sometimes during this hectic time of the year I feel we need to become lost in a "moment", a time to reflect on the true meanings of this joyous season. Okay, I am heading off to bed. I have lots to do tomorrow! Orders to fill, a house to clean, baking and shopping, you know the routine! And my munchkins are coming for a quick visit this week, I have to get ready!! YIKES!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Oh boy, another page on my calendar turned, its a cat calendar, go figure, LOL. Kittens hanging their stockings up for Santa Claws to fill because its DECEMBER!
I did not venture out the day after Thanksgiving to join the shopping madness. I never do. I prefer to create my own little bit of madness here at home dragging out the Christmas tree and totes full of beloved trimmings. I address my cards and start wrapping and boxing up my gifts that need shipped. Now I have piles of Christmas stacked in disarray everywhere, not looking very pretty, more like elves gone wild. Tomorrow is supposed to be a cold blustery day with snow. I hope to stay snuggled in and create some order out of it all.

Now I can show and tell the gifts I made for my secret Polka Dot swap partner Melinda. Melinda was out of the country, in Sweden, visiting family so my package was waiting for her when she returned. Our main gift was supposed to be sewn or hand made. I love reindeer, especially this time of year, so I used this theme for most of my gifts. I made her a little reindeer penny rug.

And next a gift tote with her initial "M" for Melinda or "Merry" for the season which she could fill with greenery or candy canes and hang on a peg, door knob or whatever. I made a reindeer ornament and purse size Kleenex cover, the "achoo!" season is upon us and I loved the one Kris made for me.
Tonight I am going to wrap up in my fleece throw, Cleo will probably join me, and enjoy my latest book "A Thousand Splendid Suns". Reading, besides sewing, I can't think of a better way to end the day. Have a wonderful week!