game of cookie tag has begun and Jackie is ‘it’! Head on over to her website, Born Ambitious. Born Imaginativefor the
first recipe in our game. CRANBERRY-ORANGE PINWHEELS m-m-m. I wonder who will be tagged next?
I have a Christmas Cookie Tag board set up for those who follow me on Pinterest. I'll be pinning all these fabulous treats for us each day they are published. Oh, my! What sweet goodness awaits! My mouth is watering already.
Remember the days of tag? When you'd run and run
and run, trying to avoid the one who was "it"? How you'd get sooooo
close to being caught and you'd arch your back to just squeak by without being
caught? And then you'd run *just* a little closer to the "it" person,
but never close enough to actually get caught. You'd spend your whole recess
trying to be safe. And you'd celebrate with tired legs and rosy cheeks if you
made it the whole recess being 'safe'.
Well, we have a new type of tag for you. But in
this one it is FUN to get caught and you MUST get caught. Because what we have
to offer you is so delicious that you wouldn't want to NOT be caught. That's
right. You want to be caught right in the middle of our Christmas cookie baking
game of TAG.
Whoever is "it" bakes cookies and posts
the recipe for everyone to enjoy. And then she tags the next blogger, who will
also be in charge of baking and adding a recipe to our TAG game. And she'll tag
the next. And the next. And the next.
And before you know it, we'll be up to our ears in
delicious cookie-ness. Cookie-ness is the very best state of being during the
holiday season. Cookie-ness really ought to be a word. And now I'm hungry.
We'll be tagging each other for the next three
weeks bringing you 12 delicious cookie recipes for your Christmas holiday! We
hope that you check back with us to see who's going to be the next
1. Good morning! Yesterday
on facebook I announced my new fan page. It’s so pleasing to sign in and look
at the number counter. Welcome to all my friends past, present and future. I am
so glad you stopped by! Refill the coffee mug, pull your chair closer to the
fire and sit a spell.
2. Speaking of fires,
Renoman has half the firewood stacked in the woodshed. It arrived late, we had
a wet summer and his back kept going out on him. Stacking and storing are somewhat behind
schedule, but it’s getting done. Some of the wood sizzles a bit while it’s
burning, but most of it is okay. Looks like we’ll be staying warm another
3. There aren't many photos of the garden
this year. The fact is there wasn't much of a garden to shoot. I've always been all, Oh! I’m sooo going to be self-reliant and
grow my own herbs and veggies. But I have a confession to make. I didn't spend much time in the
garden this year at all.
Why did I not spend more time out there? After focusing on that question this week and trying to understand the problem it dawned on me. I do not feel safe.
The beds have scrunched together over the last 3 years so there is hardly any room to shuffle through. The kale and volunteer tomatoes were particularly unruly.
Our garden paths are wonky and they're covered in straw
which seemed like a good idea, but I constantly trip over the clumps. In the spring I was gardening and fell while Renoman was at work. The only thing hurt
was my feelings and I was able to rutch my way to the nearest fence post to pull
myself up, but I wasn't in a hurry to try again.
One challenge with Multiple Sclerosis is balance
… more like a lack of it. I saw a facebook page once called, We’re not drunk. We have MS. That about
sums it up right there, my friend. It’s not often I take a step, even in the relative
security of my little Victorian farmhouse, that I don’t feel wobbly.
So, finding a solution before next spring
is in the works. We need to have a symposium on it first, but Renoman may be clearing
wider paths, laying down firmer pathways and building raised beds … I do mean RAISED beds – tall enough to reach without bending or squatting. Gardening is such
an integral part of urban homesteading. I am determined to adapt.
4. Have you ever ground wheat berries into
flour? A couple of weeks ago my friend, Off-grid Chick, and I spent most of the
day together. Usually, when we spend the day together we waste it doing silly
things like sipping tea, shootin’ the breeze and generally solving the world’s
problems for politicians. I don't know why they never ask us for help. Geeze!
This visit we had an actual agenda --- try out new grinder; make bread; while bread is rising work on box stall; solve world problems ... again.
We read that people who are sensitive to
wheat (me) can tolerate freshly ground flour. Um, no.
5. After what
seemed like forever (did it seem that
way to you?) we brought Lavender to the farmhouse. She will be unemployed and
living at home - unlike the meat rabbits who will be working girls and living
and naughty. As I type this she is scampering around my feet and doing binkys …
This tutorial could just as accurately be titled how to make a burlap wreath when your local craft store sells only 3-ringed, 3-D wire wreath forms.
These instructions apply when using a 3-ringed wire wreath form to make the ever-so-popular and trendy burlap wreaths. All of the tutorials I’ve watched or read use a 4-ringed form. Unfortunately, the ones available where I live have only 3. I figured out how to make 3 rings work, though, because I really LOVE burlap wreaths. So, I’m going to share what I learned just in case you ever find yourself in the same boat.
Caveat - Working with burlap is messy. Make the wreath outside and let the wind take care of clean up, or be prepared to brush your clothes and sweep the floor.
What you need
16” 3-ring, 3-D metal wreath form
2, 15 foot lengths of 7” wide burlap
beige pipe cleaners (they may be called crafters Chenille)
an empty bathroom paper roll
patience and a spirit of adventure!
PREP WORK: Cut about 3 dozen pipe cleaners into thirds.
How it’s made
Look at the wire form. Notice the 3 rings are secured to each other at intervals with welded wire. The ring I used is divided into 5 sections. We are going to try to squeeze 14 to 16 loops of burlap into each section.
STEP ONE – CONCEAL THE CENTER WIRE: Fold burlap in half and loosely wrap it around the CENTER ring. It will probably come unfolded in places, but that’s okay as long as the middle ring is covered. This ring will be exposed on the finished wreath so you need it buried in burlap before making the loops. It will be next to impossible to wrap it afterward. Cut and secure the ends of burlap to the form with twist ties. It will go something like this.
TIP 1: Work counter clock-wise if you are left-handed, clock-wise if you are right-handed.
TIP 2: If you want loops to be uniform use an empty bathroom paper roll to make each loop before securing it to the wire form.
TIP 3: To attach burlap to the form poke a pipe cleaner through, about ½ inch in from the folded side and twist tightly around wire. Like this.
STEP TWO – ATTACH THE BURLAP:Always work with folded burlap. Turn the wreath so you are looking at the back of it.
With the palm of your hand facing you, make a loop over your hand so that the short end of the burlap is on the knuckle side; and the long end loops over your index finger, across your palm and onward down to the floor. With pipe cleaners, attach this loop to the outside ring with the short end facing away from you and the long end toward you. Let all the burlap drape under the rings for now. Like this.
This is the most mind bending part of the whole wreath because the burlap has to be oriented in the proper direction for this method to work. You’ll only have to do this twice – when each new piece of burlap is attached. After that, the rest is quite straight forward.
Here is the first attached burlap loop (I now make the tail longer than this – about an inch to tuck and hide). It is attached with pipe cleaners. The wreath is turned over in this photo so you can see. The long end is hanging down. Remember, you are actually working with the back facing you – this is just to show you how it appears from the other side.
STEP THREE – PULLING THE BURLAP:The step that requires the most patience in my opinion.
With the back of the wreath still facing you; poke the burlap between the outer and inner wires and pull, pull, pull…PULL until all 15 feet are pulled up between those 2 rings so it looks like this.
STEP FOUR – GETTING LOOPY:Finally! The fun stuff.
Push the burlap down and between the bottom and middle rings. Insert the empty bathroom paper roll into the loop. Pull snugly. Fasten the folded edge of the burlap to the ring with a pipe cleaner. Remove paper roll. Just like so…
Next, do the same thing between the top and middle rings.
Repeat, making what is essentially a series of burlap loops that will zigzag back and forth between the inside and outside rings with the middle one helping hold it all in place. Spread apart they look like this.
When you run out of the first length of burlap, start the next by folding, looping and fastening it to the wreath as in STEP TWO.
Scrunch the finished loops together as you work cramming 14 to 16 into each section working your way around the wire form until it is full. This may be a really tight fit, but after your wreath has hung outside in the weather for a few weeks the burlap softens and relaxes. What seemed tight at first loosens. If it isn’t snug enough wire will start to show.
STEP FIVE – THE FINISH: When the wreath is full it is time for a bow. Fashion a big bow out of unfolded burlap and attach where needed with pipe cleaners.
If you like, you can wrap seasonal ribbon loosely around the wreath. fuss as much as you need and hold it in place with pipe cleaners. The ribbon can easily be changed from fall to Christmas to spring making it easy to enjoy as a beautiful, multi-seasonal wreath. I like that!
Blessings until next time…
This post is part of the Homemade Living Series. Each Wednesday each member of our 6 woman team will take a turn telling you about how she incorporates homemade living into her daily life. Visit Staci, Daisy and me today, and next week we’ll hear from Tammy, Jackie and Mary.