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Dec 10, 2018

Christmas Snowball Cookies

I'm determined to make a wide variety of cookies this year, even if it means cutting back on sleep. Raise your hand if you've made shortbread dough at 5 in the morning! Sometimes you do what you have to do.

First up: Christmas Snowball Cookies. These have a texture like shortbread and melt in your mouth.

Christmas Snowball Cookies


Ingredients

1 cup of butter, softened slightly
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups of flour
2 cups of finely chopped walnuts
1½ cups of icing sugar (for dusting cookies)

Cream together butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla and salt. Gradually add flour, mixing well. Stir in the nuts until evenly distributed. Wrap the dough in plastic food wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Preheat to 350ºF.  Scoop out dough balls using a small cookie scoop or teaspoon. Roll the dough between your palms to make a round ball.

Christmas Snowball Cookies

Place the cookies on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until they are just beginning to brown, approximately 12 to 14 minutes.  The underside of the cookies should be only lightly browned.

Cool cookies on baking sheets for about 2 minutes -they should still be warm to the touch. Gently roll the cookies in a bowl of icing sugar.

Christmas Snowball Cookies

Place the sugar-coated cookies on wire racks or back on the pans to cool completely. Once cool, roll the cookies in icing sugar one more time.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.


Christmas Snowball Cookies
Christmas Snowball Cookies
Christmas Snowball Cookies

Dec 7, 2018

4x4 Wooden Candle Holders

I still had some 4x4 posts left over after making the wooden snowmen, so I kept on going. You can never have enough candles, am I right? These wooden candle holders let you switch out between tea lights and LED flameless lights any time you want.

4x4 wooden candle holders

You start with pieces of 4x4 post - any length. You can go small, medium, and large, or all the same height - the sky's the limit. I just eyeballed the post and cut it into three approximately equal lengths. One piece is slightly longer than the other two, which I think looks better than all exactly the same.

I stained all four sides and the top of each with Minwax stain in Jacobean, and then wiped on flat white paint with a cloth. I applied the paint unevenly so that it looked aged and a bit like old barn wood. In some places the stain shows through.

4x4 wooden candle holders

To drill the insert for the light, I had Tom use his hole saw set. The hole saw only cuts around the outside of the circle, so this method involves using a series of progressively smaller hole saw bits and then finishing with a spade bit. The other option is using a Forstner bit. This bit has several angled blades and drills out the entire hole at once. The hole saw is slower, but it is easier to control.

4x4 wooden candle holders
4x4 wooden candle holders
4x4 wooden candle holders

Once the hole was drilled, I rubbed the interior with stain and paint like the sides. I then wrapped jute twine around the candle holder three times and tied it in a bow. Over the bow I glued a slice of tree branch and a bit of potpourri.

4x4 wooden candle holders
4x4 wooden candle holders
4x4 wooden candle holders



Dec 3, 2018

4x4 Wooden Snowmen


The town resurfaced our road this summer and that extra layer of asphalt was enough that our mailbox was now too low. We had to replace the 4x4 post, so the old one went into the scrap wood bin until I could make these adorable 4x4 snowmen.

4x4 wooden snowmen


To make one you will need:

3' of 4x4 post
white, black, & orange paint
scrap fabric
yarn
buttons
miter saw
hot glue gun


Cut your post into three pieces. I randomly cut the post lengths without measuring, and ended up with pieces that were 9-1/2", 11-1/2", and 13-1/2" long.

4x4 wooden snowmen

I wanted a flat paint finish for the snowmen bodies, so I chose white ceiling paint, and rubbed it on with a cloth to give it just a light washed look.

Once the white paint was dry, I used poster paint to add the eyes, nose, mouth, and buttons. I used a fairly wide artist's brush which gave the features a more rustic, cartoonish look instead of being sharply defined.

4x4 wooden snowmen

You can use any type of fabric you want for the hat and scarf. I used scraps of flannel left over from the receiving blankets and stuffed animal I made for my cousin's baby.

Cut a fabric rectangle measuring 10"x15". Fold the fabric over twice on the long side to create the brim of the hat, and wrap it around the top of the post, just above the eyes. Glue one end of the rolled edge of the hat to the post at the back, then fold over the other end and glue it to the first edge.

4x4 wooden snowmen

Gather the top of the hat together and tie it off with yarn. Floof the top of the hat like a pompom.

4x4 wooden snowmen

Take another scrap of fabric, 17" long and about 1" wide, and wrap it around the post at the neck. I picked fabric for the scarves that didn't quite match the hats because, when we go out to play in the snow, we don't worry about matching, we just make sure we're warm. Crisscross the fabric and secure in place with a dot of hot glue. Glue a button where the two ends cross.

Done!

4x4 wooden snowmen
4x4 wooden snowmen
4x4 wooden snowmen
4x4 wooden snowmen
4x4 wooden snowmen




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