Just in time for Christmas, I finished making my new ornament. As is our custom, I waited until Christmas morning to hang it on the tree. I wound up not using paint and stencils after all, because I didn’t like the way they looked when I did some testing with them. I used some stick on lettering instead, which gave me exactly the look that I wanted.
To start with, I had some lovely little dried Thai bird peppers that I thought would look great inside the clear ornament. They gave me some red and green colors to work with, and I settled on gold glitter letters and ribbons to complete the decorating. I went for a simple look, which matches a conscious effort my wife and I have made this year to simplify our holiday traditions and eliminate some of the stress that too often goes with the holidays. I also didn’t want to do anything that would cover up the peppers too much.
If there’s one thing I have learned from years of making different handmade items, it’s that things don’t always go the way you first envision them. I had an idea I could fill a glass ornament with something from the garden, then embellish and decorate the ornament. That was a good starting point. But first I discovered that my ornament was made of plastic, and not glass! Then I decided that I didn’t like the way the stenciled and painted letters looked on the ornament, so I wiped the paint off before it dried. But that didn’t slow me down too much, because I knew stick on letters were another option. After a quick trip to the craft store I had exactly what I wanted, and it was time to start creating.
I’m pleased with how this year’s ornament turned out. I chose to feature two themes that are close to my heart this Christmas season: Peace, and Joy. I made the ornament so there is no front or back side, keeping both sides very similar in design.
The little peppers came from a plant I grew out from seeds given to me by a local cooking class instructor, Aumpai Holt. My wife and I took her Thai Green Curry class last year, and Aumpai grows this pepper every year for use in her home cooking. My one container grown plant gave me loads of little hot peppers, more than I could possibly use up in a year, given how hot they are. I like the idea that I was able to turn some of her favorite peppers into a keepsake Christmas ornament for us. I think it looks great hanging on our little tree too!
My wife also joined in the fun and made an ornament this year. She made a lovely angel using some material from a shirt she bought at a resale shop. She had bought the shirt awhile back specifically for crafts, and was happy to finally put it to use. She cut out an angel, then used some backing material in the middle to firm it up, and some flannel over that to finish the back. Then she made a matching Christmas card for me. You can read about what she did here. She did a great job, and it can now join our collection of angel ornaments and other angel decorations. I just love the casual look of it!
For breakfast Christmas morning I made us some Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sourdough Waffles, using a recipe I adapted from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book. I’ll have to share the recipe here sometime. The waffles would be great for special breakfast occasions or as dessert waffles. I gave them a light dusting of powdered sugar and topped them with sliced bananas. They were good without any butter or syrup, and with 100% whole wheat flour, we could feel a little less guilty about eating all that chocolate goodness!
Wishing all of you Peace, Joy, and a happy holiday season. This blog is a labor of love for me, and I am happy you all choose to take the time to stop by and read it. And I thank all of you for your kind words and comments. You make it all worthwhile.