I've been busying myself with holiday projects lately. I made the ornament "tree" on the left side of the mantle. I saw a similar one in Martha Stewart Living magazine years ago and thought it was really cool.
Here's a closeup of the tree before I put the smallest ornaments on it. I bought a styrofoam cone and spray painted it red and used a hot glue gun to attach all the little ornaments. There are over 250 ornaments on this thing...doesn't look like that many, does it? When I was mostly done with it I found out where I should have bought the supplies in the first place: The SF Flower Mart. Specifically, Shibata Floral. I got the fresh 15' evergreen garland at the Flower Mart too.
I love to bake Christmas cookies. I bought some springerle cookie molds from House on the Hill. Springerle, according to H. o' the H., originated in Bavaria and Alsace as early as the 1600s. The other day I tackled making some cookies using one of their recipes. These 2 shots show the molded and trimmed cookies unbaked. You need to let them dry overnight so that the designs will not puff out too much when you bake them.
The cookies puff up like little pillows when you bake them. The smaller cookies need to bake at a very low temperature. They are only supposed to turn a little golden on the bottoms when they are done. It was hard to get my oven to a low enough temperature. Later that evening, when I tried to make dinner, the oven was acting oddly. Dinner was still raw after an hour of baking at 375 degrees. So, perhaps the oven is now broken. My oven is over 50 years old and has been showing its age.
I decided to decorate the cookies with a little edible gold luster dust. It's nice because it highlights the raised designs. All I did was brush it in with a soft brush.
Here are some of the bigger cookies.
So, now it's time to pack up the cookies and ship them off to my family back east. I hope they like them. Thursday Sharon & I are going to make some Wedgewood Jasperware style ornaments using paperclay and the cookie molds.