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Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Final Day of the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

Welcome to our final day here at
The Ravenwood Whimzies Primitives
2015 Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

What a delightful Hop this has been!  We've had so many talented gals creating goodies just for you.  They have graciously given us their family favorite recipes, and shared a bit of their holiday traditions with us. It's been fun to get to know each one better, as I prepared the posts introducing them to you. I feel very blessed to know each of these ladies, and want to send them all a huge THANK YOU for sharing their time and talents to help us all enjoy the Blog Hop! I couldn't have done the Blog Hop without them!

Yesterday Amy of Bumble Bee Lane shared a wonderful soap tutorial with us..what a thoughtful gift the soaps would make, and I am sure they would be very appreciated too!  Amy also shared a yummy guilt-free recipe for peanut butter cookies!  Yum, my favorites!  You can find my post for Amy by scrolling down my page to Day 11 of the Blog Hop.  

Well, that leaves today as my day for sharing!

First off, I will share a little bit about myself, and then my tutorial and recipe.

We live in a beautiful old 1830 home, built atop a hill overlooking Owasco Lake, in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.  For those not familiar with central NY, we are nowhere near New York City, and rather than skyscrapers, we are surrounded by fields, forests, farmlands and lakes.  Traffic consists of stopping for the occasional flock of turkeys, a deer running across the road, or dodging that stupid and indecisive squirrel, trying his best to get hit.  For shopping, we only need to travel about 15 minutes to get to a couple of small cities of about 20,000, so we are not that far from stores.

We moved to our home 4 years ago, after our youngest graduated from college and married.  While most empty-nesters downsize, we upsized considerably, from a small 1970 home on the outskirts of town, to a big old home built in 1830, complete with a big barn and 8 acres of land.  I had always dreamed of living in a big old house, and  while looking for home online for our son and his new wife, I saw this place for sale, and we decided to look just for the fun of it...never dreaming we would fall in love with it.
It's been fun having Christmas and other holidays here, as we now have a huge dining room with a big table (and about 6 leaves to add to it as need be).  We have plenty of extra rooms for sleep overs with the grandkids or the occasional visitors from my husband's family out west, or my sis from Vermont.
For Christmas Eve, we always attend Mass...sometimes in the early evening...or if we feel like staying up, we will go to Midnight Mass.  It always seems like such a magical time..a huge old stone church, beautiful stained glass windows, candle light and hundreds of red and white poinsettias all around...what a beautiful way to bring in the most Blessed day of the year!
After Mass, we come back to the house, where we munch on cookies, candy and other snacks.  We open the gifts we have received from my husband's family, and I finish up the caramel nut rolls which will be our breakfast on Christmas morning.
Christmas Day means opening our stockings, while we wait for our children and grandchildren to arrive.  We then have our coffee and nut rolls, and the unwrapping commences with much chaos, as 2 and 3 year olds send the paper flying!  The adults take turns going around the room and opening a gift each time it is their turn.  We do this so we can all see and enjoy the gifts others receive.
After the presents have been unwrapped, we visit, watching the kids play and do some dinner preparations.  We have made it a tradition to have roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy,  pop-overs and veggies for dinner, along with homemade desserts.  Oh gosh, my mouth is watering just thinking about that meal - yum!
My parents usually come for dinner, and at times, my brothers and other members of the family will come too.  It's a fun time for all as we eat, drink and be Merry!

Okay...enough about me and let's get on with the tutorial or I'll be up all night!

My tutorial is for 
Vintage Cotton Batting Santa Ornaments

You will need

The pattern templates below
Face templates below
Supplies listed on pattern template page

(Right click to save to computer and print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper)

 Cut one body template from cardboard.
Take one of the black pipe cleaners.  Find the middle and then bend each end in to meet in the center.  Twist both sides several times to hold together.
Your arms should measure about 5 1/2 inches long.
Take the twisted pipe cleaner and bend around the neck portion of the body.
Run a bead of hot glue and glue to back of body form.
For the legs, cut one pipe cleaner in half.
Fold each piece in half and twist together to form two legs.
Legs should be about 3" long.
Glue onto the bottom of your body.
Set aside.

From stained cotton batting, cut one piece that measures 8 1/2 x 6 1/2
Fold lengthwise.
With folded edge at the neck of the Santa, wrap batting around the body.
End at the center front of the body, folding the edge under and gluing along entire edge.  Hold until glue is set.
For arms, cut two pieces about 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.
Fold up a cuff on the long side and press.
Carefully wrap the batting around each arm, ending on the underside of the arm.
Take in place with glue along seem and also at shoulder to keep the sleeves up near the neck.

You should now have something that looks like this:

Cut one hood from the cotton batting.
Fold in half and glue on slanted edge.
Once glue is set, turn right side out.
Set aside.

Next, print out your face template onto cardstock.  

(Right click to save to your computer and print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper)

The faces should measure a bit over 1 x 1.
Choose the face you wish to use and cut it out, trimming it to size.  You will want to hold it onto your body to check for size.
Once you have the size you want, glue the top of the head to the top of the cardboard.  Do NOT glue down the bottom of the head or the beard.
Once head is glued, wrap hood over head and tack in place.
Cut one cape cloak from cotton batting.
Wrap around Santa's shoulder and under his beard.
Tack with glue under the beard.
You are almost done!
Glue on some embellishments.
I used some mini red garland around his waist and a little prim bottle brush tree.
Add a hanger to the back shoulder area by running a length of perle cotton through and knotting.
Hang your vintage looking Santa ornie and enjoy!
I also created another Santa using some festive wool I had, trimming it with small strips of cotton batting.  I accidentally glued his head down a bit too far, so I will probably redo this red one later, but I wanted to show you another option for creating one of these Santa ornies.

These would look lovely on your tree or tied to a package or gift basket.
I hope you enjoy this tutorial.

One of our must-have goodies for Christmas is my homemade peanut brittle.
It's quick, easy and delicious!

My Homemade Peanut Brittle
This brittle is a tad different than most recipes, as it uses half brown sugar...but that makes ALL the difference in the world, and I wouldn't make it any other way.
Here's what you will need
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 t vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of butter (and a little more for greasing the pans and utensils)
1/2 t salt
2-3 cups of roasted peanuts - no salt
(I like to buy my peanuts in the bulk section of the store-get them early because they often run out during the holidays)
1 1/2 t. baking soda
large heavy pot
candy thermometer
I forgot to add the baking soda to this grouping before I took the picture.

Spray the sides of your large pot with cooking spray.  I have a non-stick pot in the picture, but pulled out my stainless steel one to make the brittle.  I've used both.
Generously butter two cookie sheets and also two forks. The more the better!  Do the sides and bottom of the pans well, and make sure the forks are greased up well too.   Set aside.  You can also use cooking spray, but make certain to do a heavy coat! I like to keep the cooking spray nearby in case I need to regrease the forks during the pulling stage of making the brittle.
Pre-measure all your ingredients and have them ready to dump in.  Keep the baking soda and nuts separated into two bowls, so they are handy to dump in when you are ready.  You don't want to have to measure these out when your syrup is ready!
In the pot, combine the sugars, corn syrup, water, butter and salt.  Cook and stir with a heavy plastic spoon or a wooden spoon sprayed heavily with cooking spray.  Don't use a cheap plastic spoon or it will melt!  I don't recommend using a metal spoon, as it will get hot.
Cook until it begins to boil and sugars dissolve.  Continue stirring and boil over medium high heat to 275 degrees register on your candy thermometer.  It can be tricky trying to stir and keep the thermometer in place, so it is handy to have a little help if possible.  Otherwise, just hold it with one hand and stir with the other.  
The mixture will be a light golden color and should be gently boiling over the entire surface.
 Now add the nuts and continue cooking and stirring the mixture until the candy thermometer reaches 295 degrees.  It will start getting thicker and darker.  Keep stirring so that the nuts do not burn.  Keep an eye on them too.  Sometimes I have difficulty getting my thermometer to read 295, but if you see your nuts starting to get too dark, chances are your brittle is ready.  You can double check by pulling your spoon out of the mixture....if the drips from the spoon instantly harden, then it is time to dump your brittle into your prepared pans.
Remove your pot from the heat and NOW
dump in the baking soda  and vanilla (if using). 
I can't tell you how many times I have forgotten to do this at the last minute, so place that little dish of soda next to your cookie sheets so you don't forget.  If you do forget, the brittle will turn out okay, but not as good.
Stir it into the hot mixture...it will foam up a bit, and then
Pour into your greased cookie sheets, dividing evenly between the two pans.  Tip cookie sheets a bit to spread the mixture....let it cool for just a minute and then, using the forks, start pulling the brittle toward the edges of the cookie sheet.  Continue doing this until you can no longer pull the brittle.  This goes rather quickly, but try to make certain you get it as thin as possible.  It is nice to have a helper work on one pan while you do another.  Mr. Whimzie usually helps me out.  I don't like thick slabs of brittle, so we keep pulling until it is fairly see-through.
The hard work is done.  Just let it cool completely, then you can break it into pieces. Store in zipper bags or airtight containers.

Are you still with me?
I hope so, because now I can reveal my little surprise!
From Thanksgiving through Christmas, our family has a birthday every week!
First my husband, then son, Drew, and little Peter's on the 21st....but tomorrow is MY BIRTHDAY!

To celebrate my birthday and the end of the blog hop, I'll be giving away this cute Prairie Snowgal.

  If you would like to win, simply leave a comment on THIS POST ONLY, saying you want to be entered.  I will reveal the winner on Monday, so as to give you a couple days to get your comments in.
Good luck and Merry Christmas!
Thank you again for making this blog hop fun and festive!

God bless us everyone!


  1. I love the Santa ornaments!!! I'll be making some of those. Thank you for the lovely tutorial and the peanut brittle recipe. I remember how yummy that stuff is you sent some in a swap one year...it didn't last long LOL!!! Thank you again for having me on your blog hop my friend. It was my first and it was fun. :0)

  2. ♫ Happy Birthday ♫ Oh, tis a rather sad day, our Christmas Blog Hop has come to the end. It has been so much fun beginning the early morning reading about a new friend, learning a new craft, and adding recipes to our folder. Thank you for everything. This would not have been possible without YOU.

    Your home sounds amazing, like a dream come true. And thank you for the Santa tutorial, Prudence and I collect Santa's and will be making this wonderful old guy today. Rob loves peanut brittle, so I imagine he will be helping in the kitchen when I make your wonderful recipe.

    God Bless you and your family. Merry Christmas, and we both send our love and hugs to you, Wendy.

    Joyce and Prudence

  3. Happy Birthday Wendy! I hope you have the best one ever. I have really enjoyed your 12 Days of Christmas blog hop. Thank you.

  4. Each year our church has a huge peanut brittle making day for a holiday sale (and eat-along) I will save this to use next year. Thank you.

    Your Santas are wonderful. Thank you for the simple instructions. I may have time to wrap a few up yet before the big day.

    Thank you for all the wonderful days and for introducing uss to these fantastic people. Happy Holidays!

  5. Thank you so much for hosting this wonderful blog hop! Thank you for the cute Santa ornie and the delish recipe. (I love peanut brittle!) I would love to be entered in your give-away! Have a very Merry Christmas....

  6. I forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday!! (Mine is the 31st!)

  7. LOVE the Tutorial on the Santa Ornie! I used to make Peanut Brittle every year and then I dropped my thermometer and busted it. Never replaced it and so my candy making came to an end. Besides, it was making me fat! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
    It's been a great Hop! Thankful you asked me to participate! Sign me up for your sweet Snow Gal! And have a very Happy Birthday tomorrow! }}Hugs{{

  8. Oh Wendy how fun this has been! I have enjoyed every day! I love these Santas and I am going to try a few! Your Christmas sounds so neat with all of the family together and oh my your house!!! I have to look back in your blog to see some pictures!
    Happy birthday tomorrow, may it be a day filled with happiness!
    I would like to be entered into your giveaway!
    Thanks again for all your work!
    Be blessed,

  9. Hi, Just found your blog and enjoyed all the 12 days of Christmas posts!

  10. Hi, Just found your blog this week, I enjoyed all the wonderful Christmas blog hops! Thank you!

  11. I love your santa piece and nice tutorial, maybe I will have time to make one before Christmas. We always made peanut brittle when I was younger, and at church we had taffy pulls for the kids.


  12. Thank you for the Santa ornament pattern and peanut brittle recipe. This Blog Hop was so much fun. Happy birthday to you. I'd love to win the prairie snowgal :)

  13. Thanks for hosting Wendy! It has been fun visiting with old friends and meeting new. I'd love a chance at your snowgirl. Merry Christmas friend!~Amy

  14. Wendy, thank you so very much for hosting this wonderful blog hop and for asking me to be a part of it, what a fabulous way to start the holidays! Every stop has been so much fun and all the posts have been wonderful. Love your cotton batting Santa's, beautiful vintage project, and your brittle recipe sounds delicious! Wishing you a very happy birthday filled with fun,family and presents and wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season! Thanks again for an amazing Christmas blog hop, Deb xo

  15. Hi Wendy, I am so sad to see the blog hop end. Thank you so much for hosting it. It was so much fun. I love your Santa ornie tutorial, I want to make these. And thanks for sharing the peanut brittle recipe, I am one of the lucky ones that can say I have actually tasted yours and it is so yummy! Love to hear how you celebrate Christmas. Happy, Happy Birthday dear friend. Hope it was awesome. I would love to be entered in your giveaway, I love prairie things, so I am hoping I can win your doll. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! hugs, Lecia

  16. Happy Birthday sweet lady! This has been the most fun hop! I've got a list of projects I would like to try and your Santas are beautiful (and I wouldn't have to learn to paint a face lol) I would love to have your sweet Snow Gal! Please enter me. Thanks! Birthday hugs coming your way, Diane

  17. Wendy, many thanks for hosting this FUN Christmas blog hop! I have enjoyed reading your family's traditions. Those breakfast rolls are one of our favorites! I can't wait to try my hand at your snowman tutorial. So cute!! Peanut brittle is another favorite of my husband and me. Thanks once again for putting this together. And PLEASE enter me in your snow Gal giveaway! Merry Christmas - and hope you had a WONDERFUL birthday!


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