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Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Five Days Christmas | Day 1 | Dotty Christmas Burlap Runner

Welcome to The Five Days of Christmas!

This week will consist of several things: fun, simple projects, recipes and wonderful giveaways! And... an opportunity to share your Christmas blog posts with us! 

Today through Friday we are going to have a Christmas Blog Hop going, and we would love for you to share your blog! Make sure to follow the guidelines for the hop. Make sure to thank the link participants when you visit their blog! And always read to the very bottom - you never know what you might find!


This part is really going to be fun... 

Old Time Radio Theater!

Every day we will include:
A story a day, all from 1939-1947! 30 minutes to an hour long and perfect for the little ones to have a break from modern media.

MP3 format. Right-click the link - choose SAVE LINK AS and download to your computer. Enjoy as you would any other MP3!

Today's audio story:

A Christmas Carol by Lionel Barrymore - 1 hour long




Today's Giveaway...

One 2013 subscription to Seasons at Home Magazine



and something to sip while you read it...



How exciting is a Starbucks gift card and magazines? My Enter below in the Punchtab box to win today's giveaway! Go through the Punchtab steps at the bottom of the post, and the more steps you complete, the more entries you get!

Please share this event with your friends!!

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Dotty Christmas Burlap Runner


This is the simplest runner I think I've ever made. I love the big round dots, they remind me of the big round snowflakes in Charlie Brown Christmas. It only took me a few hours, start to finish, and that included taking pictures! So I can testify that this is a project you will finish and have on the table in no time.

Plus, I think there's something therapeutic about weaving twine through fabric. It's easy, monotonous and relaxing. Along with sponging the dots... what grand fun. Dot, dot, dot, dot...

Instructions
Another fun thing about this runner is that you can make it any size you want - long and narrow, or even square! I made mine 17" x 34"



You Will Need: 
~1 1/4 yds. burlap - Plain, color, or patterned (and yes, there are lovely Christmas patterns available!)
~ bakers twine - This is currently available in almost all the craft stores. It's a decorative twine and comes in red/white, green/white, and blue/white. You can also use yarn or crochet thread. 
~ large eye sewing needle and scissors
~ large cutting mat, quilter's ruler and rotary blade
~ 1 1/2" round sponge and 1 bottle white acrylic paint (permanent) 
~ large piece of cardboard (to place under the runner when you stamp it. A large cereal box works great!)






1. Cut a single layer of burlap the size you desire the runner to be. Again, I cut mine 17" x 34". Burlap can be
a little messy to cut! Make sure that the burlap is flat and even on the cutting board, as it tends to shift around a lot, and the edges are straight after you cut them.

2. Find the center point of the two short parallel sides. Estimate the amount of twine you are going to need by running the twine around the edge of one half of the runner, leaving about 18" extra at each starting point as shown. Cut two measures of twine at this length.











3. Thread the needle with the twine, do not knot the end. Insert the needle in the center of the short side, about 1 1/2" from the edge and pull through, stopping to leave the 18" tail. Begin a long running stitch as shown.



Continue the running stitches along the edge, stopping when you reach the center point of the other side, parallel to the one you started on. Trim the twine, leaving an 18" tail.

Repeat the same steps for the other side of the runner. When you are finished, you will have two sides that meet in the middle. Tie a bow!



 If you happen to knock off some of the threads while you are stitching (like I did), you can go back with the quilting ruler and rotary cutter and even up the edges again. I had to straighten mine out a bit.

Now to sponge on the dots! I had bought a package of assorted round sponges (the cute kind with the handles) and chose the largest one, about 1 1/2" in diameter, but you can make them as big or small as you like. I also stamped the dots sporadically, but evenly, on the runner, but you can be precise about this if you wish... I was having fun just stamping dots as I thought they looked pretty!

5. Lay out the cardboard. Fill a paper plate (or other dish you don't mind putting paint on) with a large puddle of acrylic paint. Don't be stingy on this part, I used quite a bit of paint. Dip and dab the sponge in the paint until it's good and wet.

I recommend testing your stamping skills on a scrap of burlap before starting on your runner, just in case.


Keep dotting... and keep the runner on the cardboard, or you will have a polky dot floor. Stop when you have enough. Can you believe that's the end of the project? Let it dry for a little while, and lay it on the table!


So adorable, and so easy! I was very happy with it. :) So go get some burlap and make a runner!

Now for the giveaway...

Follow the steps in the Punchtab box below. And yes, you need to be a newsletter subscriber in order to qualify to win!


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Free Book Friday This Week, December 6th!


Free Book Friday | On December 6th 

Free Book Friday is a twice-a-month children's book giveaway here on Joyous Notions! We come across so many wonderful books for homeschool literature, we decided to start a book giveaway for them. Each giveaway will feature one of our favorite children's books, and you will have a chance to win! 

We are very excited to offer this giveaway to our readers, and hope it will grow to bless you! Let us know your thoughts, and leave us a comment!

You won't want to miss the giveaways! Sign up for our newsletter to stay posted on all of our upcoming Free Book Fridays, and other events!



*Update* 

There have been a few questions about how Free Book Friday, here's how it works...

1. Free Book Friday starts on the announced Friday

We'll announce what Fridays - on our blog and in our newsletter.


2. You need to be a newsletter subscriber in order to qualify to win the giveaway. BUT being a newsletter subscriber does NOT enter you into the giveaway. 


3. On the day of Free Book Friday, we will put up the giveaway post on our blog with the Punchtab box. 

Enter the giveaway in the Punchtab box.


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This week's book giveaway is... 


A Time to Keep, by Tasha Tudor


Remember, only newsletter subscribers will be able to participate in Free Book Friday Giveaways, so sign up! We'd love to have you join us!


And get ready for The Five Days of Christmas! Starting Monday, December 2nd!



Have a blessed weekend! ~Jessica

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday! ~ November 27th

Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday

The Featured Hopper!

Each week, we are going to be picking our favorite link or links of the previous week's link-up and featuring them as the Featured Hopper!! Share your best blog posts with us and you might get featured!! :)

This Week's Featured Hopper

is Lisa at Me & My House! Lisa shared her adorable Thanksgiving place cards (and in time for Thanksgiving this week too!) - and Gin at At Home in Doe Hill is doing a series of posts for a DIY 6-Panel Skirt Pattern! We love do-it-yourself skirts - even more wonderful in a house full of girls! Thank you for sharing ladies!


DIY 6-Panel Skirt Pattern



Upcoming Events...

The Five Days of Christmas starts December 1st!


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and Free Book Friday is next week, December 6th! Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on this giveaway and more!


Have fun sharing in the blog hop, and have a blessed week, Ladies 
~ Jessica ~   
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing we love to do in our work is encourage ladies in making their homes... we are so pleased to start this Homemaking Blog Hop each week! Please join us, and share your links!

Topics can include... crafting, homemaking, encouragement, recipes, homeschooling, sewing, quilting, organizing, anything that has to do with making our homes! 


At the bottom, use the link tool to share your link, title and pick your image, it's so simple! And yes, you can share multiple links. =) 


Grab our Blog Hop button to add to your blog to share the fun! *Required to participate*








Saturday, November 23, 2013

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

This is our basic muffin recipe from our April Tea Times, 2012. Makes 12 muffins.

Take this base recipe and change the add-ins any way you’d like. Substitute different berries for the cherries, or even leave out the fruit and make cinnamon streusel muffins! When you make muffin batter, your goal is to mix the batter as little as possible; this will make high, tender muffins. Use a fork to mix! Never mix the batter until it is completely smooth, you will ruin the texture of the cake and they may not rise as much.

I made this morning for a friend because she was having trouble with the recipe. Remember, this recipe uses soft white wheat flour. I mill my own. If you are using white flour - I would experiment with 2/3 cup less. I haven't made them with white, so I'm not exactly sure of the measurement for it! Sorry!

First, prepare your muffin pans and either grease
or use a paper liner each cup. In a large bowl, sift
together:
  • 2 2/3 cups soft wheat flour - 2/3 less if white flour is used
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, into
the well, add:
  • 2 large eggs, beaten well
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Use a fork to gently start pulling the flour mixture into the liquid ingredients in the middle. Combine just until the flour mixture is wet and still lumpy. Before you finish moistening the batter, stir in 3/4 - 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit. (Berries, chopped apples, etc.)
Use a spoon to fill each muffin cup 3/4 full; never fill to the top. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with sugar. Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes, until golden and firm. Serve with butter! Enjoy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

EASY! Large Crowd Roasted Potato, Cheddar and Broccoli Soup

Need a warm comfort food? Here is another potato soup, with roasted potatoes. So easy and GOOD!

I'm using a 20 quart roaster. Yes. Big pots and cookers are prized around here. Roasters are only about $40.00 - we even roast our turkey in it to save oven space. Love my roaster!

You will have reduce the size of the recipe for your crowd, or just invite the church over.
I started this early in the day, 11 a.m. It will be perfect in time for dinner at 6:30 p.m.

What you need:
15-20 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
3-4 large onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. salt
1/4 cup minced garlic
3-4 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. of Italian seasoning (oregano, thyme, sage mix)
1/2 c. olive oil
3 quarts of chicken broth
10 cups of broccoli
1 15 oz. evaporated milk
2 cups half-n-half
*You can add more evaporated milk if you want. I only had one can, but would have added three to this.
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Add to roaster:
Yukon Gold Potatoes - peeled and cubed - The kind of potato is important. These are my favorite, they taste like butter when roasted!
large onions
Tbsp. salt
minced garlic
onion powder
pepper
Italian seasoning
olive oil
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 Set the roaster at 450 or the highest setting. Stir continually, roasting the potatoes to perfection. They will bubble and crisp up. I roasted mine for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The first hour on high, turn down to 350 for the last 45 minutes.  YUM!


Next:
Add 3 quarts of chicken broth. When I have homemade, I use it. If not, I like Swansons Natural Chicken Broth. Now it will simmer, until almost supper time. If you have a cold, you have an excuse to eat some now. But steaming for a few more hours until the final ingredients are added is better!





Finally:
Add the broccoli, evaporated milk, half-n-half and cheese.  Simmer until the broccoli is as tender as you want. We simmered maybe 20 minutes.

OH BOY!
That's it. It's not going to last for me to get a better picture when it's daylight! Enjoy! This is simple, and can cook most of the day while you tend to other things. 
Theresa


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Homeschool Giveaways Plus Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday!

Homeschool Giveaways - Joyous Home Freebie Bundle

Today we are sponsoring a giveaway of ALL our digital publications on Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies!

To get all our digital publications for free - YOU MUST CLAIM IT at Homeschoolgiveaways.com! The offer runs Wednesday, 11/20/13 through 11/22/13. Once you sign up for it, you will be given a coupon to download all our digitals, The Joyous Home Journals plus The Tea Times FREE! 10 publications, over 180 pages of wonderful homemaking content!
Can you share this information with your friends? Thank you so much!
  

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Homemaking Blog Hop Wednesday

The Featured Hopper!

Starting this week, we are going to be picking our favorite link or links of the previous week's link-up and featuring them as the Featured Hopper!! Share your best blog posts with us and you might get featured!! :)

This Week's Featured Hopper

is JES at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! She put together a wonderful unit study on apples - We loved reading through this post! One of the most complete unit studies we have seen, filled with lots of wonderful ideas! 



and mark your calendars... The next Free Book Friday is going to be on December 6th! Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on this giveaway and more!


Have fun sharing in the blog hop, and have a blessed week, Ladies 
~ Jessica ~   
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing we love to do in our work is encourage ladies in making their homes... we are so pleased to start this Homemaking Blog Hop each week! Please join us, and share your links!

Topics can include... crafting, homemaking, encouragement, recipes, homeschooling, sewing, quilting, organizing, anything that has to do with making our homes! 


At the bottom, use the link tool to share your link, title and pick your image, it's so simple! And yes, you can share multiple links. =) 


Grab our Blog Hop button to add to your blog to share the fun! *Required to participate*








And don't forget to watch for...




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Free Book Friday! ~ November 15th

Welcome to the first Free Book Friday!!

The first Free Book Friday starts today!! Free Book Friday is a twice-a-month children's book giveaway here on Joyous Notions! We come across so many wonderful books for homeschool literature, we decided to start a book giveaway for them. Each giveaway will feature one of our favorite children's books, and you will have a chance to win! 



It's easy to participate! All you need to do...

1. Sign up for our newsletter* (if you're not signed up already). You must be on our newsletter to qualify to enter.

Updates & Nice Things!
Email:  
For Email Marketing you can trust

For Email Marketing you can trust


2. Follow the steps in the Punchtab box to enter - The more steps you do, the bigger chance you have to win!

 *Note - Your email address will only be used on our mailing list, we do NOT sell or give out email addresses. You will not be overloaded with newsletters either. We send an average of 1-2 emails per week. 

~ The giveaway ends Friday at midnight | We will email the winner! ~

Our Giveaway Today is... 

 Stories of the Pilgrims, by Margaret B. Pumphrey and Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness!

Stories of the Pilgrims, Margaret B. Pumphrey This is a wonderfully fun and interesting account of the Pilgrims. You will enjoy reading this fictional account (based on historical facts) starting with their struggles with religious oppression in England, and their escape to Holland and eventual crossing to America on the Mayflower, and their early days in New England. This book has been the November read aloud book for our homeschool, and the children love it! 

Three Young Pilgrims, Cheryl Harness ~ This story follows the Allerton children - Bartholemew, Remember and Mary, and their parents in the New World. This story and beautiful illustrations depict how the pilgrims lived after landing at Plymouth, the hard struggles and adventures that followed, and ending with the first Thanksgiving celebration!

ONE winner will be selected for this fun book duo! Have fun!
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