Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Crystal and Cookies

Just one more day and so much to do!  Today we finally got the dining room tree decorated.  Our town was very busy as we did lots of errands and picked up a few last minute gifts.  Tonight was filled with cookie making, so this is definitely a "holiday" post and not a "crafting" post.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that we lived overseas for eight years - first in Germany and then in England.  Our younger son remembered the "lebkuchen" cookies we had in Germany and decided to try making some with his girlfriend.  They do a lot of cooking and baking.  Our older son has a radio show about chefs, music and food.   I am not sure where the "foodie" genes came from but it keeps things interesting around here!

The recipe was a bit complicated and involved boiling molasses and honey together.  They found the recipe online - here is a LINK to the site.

The dough turned out to be a bit sticky but they used plenty of flour and managed to cut out lots of little cookies.

The tiny hearts were really cute and very tasty too - we recommend trying this recipe if you like lebkuchen.

When we lived in Germany I used to go on two shopping trips a year with my "English Morning Tea" group.  This was a group that met every Wednesday morning.  It was organized through the community education in our small town and was for Germans who had taken all of the English language classes and wanted to keep up with their language skills and ex-pats who were struggling to communicate in German and appreciated a chance to have some native speakers help them out.  We took an overnight trip to the area where a lot of crystal and china were manufactured and shopped at the factories.  We had a lot of fun!

Each time we went on these trips, I would buy a few more crystal ornaments.  The company that made them also makes the crystal sold as Gorham in the US.  I have some of the boxes with their German labels and every year I have a little "refresher course" in German when I have to put them away (of course - I have to get them in the right boxes or it would bother me all year!).  These two are for a reindeer and cat.

The Tree in the dining room is actually meant to be an outdoor tree.  It is white wire with downswept branches.  A few years ago, I was in CVS and they had marked down the remaining trees to 90% off so it was inevitable that I would go home with it!  This tree only has crystal and silver ornaments but this year I added a few blue glass balls as well.

My favorite thing about this tree is the way it is reflected in the mirror on the opposite side of the room.  The effect is so pretty when you walk into the room from the hall.

Here are a few more close ups of some of the crystal figures.  I wish I could really capture the magical sparkle of this tree in a photo.  The outdoor tree has worked out just fine inside - it is a little unexpected but visitors nearly always comment on how nice it looks in the room.

There is so much to do tomorrow - good luck to all of you with your last minute preparations!

I realized that I didn't give a time zone when I said that 11:59 p.m. today was the deadline to comment for the DVD giveaway so, to be fair, I will end the eligibility at 11:59 Pacific time which is 2:59 a.m. for me.  I am a night owl, but I do need to get some sleep, so I will do the drawing as soon as I can tomorrow morning and post the name of the person who will be receiving a free copy of Megan's Above Rubies Studio Cricut A-Z DVD.

The Winner has been chosen - Congratulations to Molly Martin!

Molly said...


I would like to echo what Lisa Sturgill said...even when I think I know what I am doing, watching you navigate through CDS helps me to do something easier and/or learn something new.

I also enjoy your posts relating to using a Cricut element or cart for something other than what is was designed for...(i.e. using Zooballoo for Christmas).

Finally, I really appreciate your reviews of new carts AND all the time involved in taking/editing/posting pics of the handbooks.


Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Molly Martin
December 21, 2009 10:47 AM


  1. What beautiful crystal ornaments!! thanks for sharing :)
    The Lebkuchen cookies actually will get better with time... the spices need a bit to really come out in the dough.

    Frohe Weihnachten dann :)

  2. Beautiful ornaments Diane!!! I love the tree! Your House must be absolutely stunning!

    Cute couple there as well!

    Happy Christmas Eve!!!!

    Lisa Sturgill :)

  3. Congrats to Molly.

    And... once again, I am amazed at all the Christmas decorations you have. Your crystal ornaments are gorgeous.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

  4. Diane, I love your decorations. My mother in law started me on those very same crystal ornaments. I got 10 years of them and then she stopped. I want some more but the store that carried them in the area by us quit because of the expense to import them. They are my favorite and I won't let anyone else put them on the tree.



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