A Return to Loveliness

Homemade Gifts
Christmas is just a few short days away, but I think there’s 
still time to make a few homemade gifts,
or something to bring to a party!
From Your Heart and From Your Hands
that will be greatly appreciated!
I am taking my inspiration from special books
I was perusing this afternoon.
 While I was reading, I was enjoying a wonderful cup of Earl Grey tea
in my Gibson Holly mug with a gift I received – Snickerdoodles!
I love the work of Emelie Barnes and her
The Twelve Teas of Christmas
is full of wonderful ideas, insights, pictures and recipes!
Fruit Salsa
2 medium Granny Smith apples
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled
1 small orange
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple jelly
peel, core and chop apples. Hull strawberries and slice. Peel, core
and chop kiwi. Grate 2 tablespoons orange zest, squeeze rest of orange to equal ¼ cup of juice. Stir all of the above with brown sugar
and apple jelly in a bowl. Terrific on breads or muffins.
You can put this in a snap sealable container.
Christmas Candle Holder
4-ounce juice glass with straight sides
tea light
water-based craft paint
paint brush
craft knife
heavy black paper
Paint the outside of the surface of the glass, covering it entirely. You can use red or green paint., or even a shimmering color. Cut out a piece of black paper that fits around the outside of the glass. Next, cut Christmas shapes trees, stars, bells—out of the paper. Now you’ll glue the paper, making sure the black is facing out to the outside of the glass so it covers the paint, except where you’ve cut out the shapes. Place the tea light inside the glass. When you light the wick, your original cut-outs will shine through the black paper.
The Heart of Christmas
By Victoria
Herbes de Provence
3 tablespoons dried marjoram
3 tablespoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons dried summer savory
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 ½ tablespoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried or rubbed sage
½ teaspoon fennel seed
¼ teaspoon dried lavender
in a small bowl, mix together all theingredients. Store in a glass container in a cool, dry, dark place.
Makes ¾ cup.
You can put this in a small jelly jar, decorate with
Rustic fabric and add a homemade label.
Three-Fruit Marmalade
1 ½ pounds mixed citrus fruits
(grapefruit, oranges and lemons)
washed dried, quartered, and seeded but not peeled
12 cups cold water
6 cups sugar
1.   cut the fruit quarters into very thin slices, working over a bowl to catch the juices.
2.   Measure 4 cups of the fruit slices, including juices, into a heavy 8-quart nonreactive (enamel or stainless steel) saucepan. Add the water. Cover and let stand for 24 hours.
3.   Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Remove the lid, lower the heat to medium, and boil gently for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until reduced to 6 cups, stirring often. Cool slightly.
4.   Add the sugar, bring to a boil over high hieat, stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Keep the mixture at a rapid boil until it sheets off a metal spoon and registers 220 degrees F. on a candy thermomenter.
5.   Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off the foam from the top and stir gently.
6.   Quickly, ladle the marmalade int 6 hot, sterilized 1/2 –pint glass canning jars, leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Seal with canning lids according to the manufacturers directions.
7.   Process the sealed hot marmalade ina boiling water bath for 5 minutes after the water returns to a full boil. (add 1 minute processing time for each 1,00 feet above sea level) Cool upright on a rack and store in a cool, dry, dark place.
Gifts In A Jar
I have made these already and have them at the ready for hostess gifts and for last-minute gifts.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® 
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
 Place these instructions on a card attached to the side of the jar.
PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)
softened butter or margarine, 1 large egg and 3/4 teaspoon
vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until blended. Add cookie
mix and 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional); mix well, breaking
up any clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased
baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to
cool completely.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
A Return to Loveliness
is a weekly blog party I host celebrating bringing Loveliness
into our lives and into our homes
To Join
simply create a post, publish this post – copy the URL Permalink
specific to your post and apply it to the Linky provided below.
Please link back to this blog and visit as many participants as you are able.

I am sharing this post with these Delightsome blog parties:

Lady Katherine’s Tea Time Tuesday
The Plumed Pen’s Tea for Two
Rose Chintz Tea Time Tuesday
Martha’s Favorite Teacup Tuesday


A Breath of Fresh Air’s
and Silken Purse’s
Artful Affirmations Teacup Tuesday
Sweetology’s Tea Time Tuesday
Miss Spencer’s Teacup Thursday
Bernideen’s Friends Sharing Tea
Wishing you a most Delightsome day,
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  1. Thank you for another delightful post, Kathy. You have shared some very lovely ideas.
    I want to thank you for hosting your lovely Victoria party this past year for each one has been a blessing. Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Christmas blessings,

  2. Hi Kathy and a Big Thank You for the recipes. We just returned from Florida with oranges and quamquats. Guess what I will be making with them. I have been wondering about a recipe for the Herbes de Provece. I love using them in my cooking so much.
    Sending Joyous Holiday wishes to you and your family.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~~

  3. What a lovely post. It touches my heart. I enjoyed Victoria magazine when I subscribed. The loveliness, the serenity, sigh.

    Have a beautiful Christmas.


  4. Hello Kathy
    I think we should do more giving from the heart; most people would enjoy something home or handmade.
    Thanks for the recipe and hosting each week.
    Merry Christmas.

  5. A lovely post. Your photos are marvelous as always and I enjoy your recipe and reference choices! Yoy are always such a gracious hostess! I so look forward to seeing what you will post next! Merry Christmas!

  6. Kathy,
    I’m with you. I love the idea of homemade gifts. I am making 4 table runners and some euro shams this week for some presents under the tree. It is not so hard to do and it will be appreciated. Thanks for hosting your lovely party and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  7. A appareciate so much handmade & homemade gifts which are made of love and tenderness. Your ideas are GREAT. Thanks for following.
    Merry Christmas from Hong Kong

  8. Your books are all so wonderful! And what a perfect time to sit and read them to get ideas! It’s relaxing! Enjoy your week! Happy holidays! ♥

  9. Thank you for sharing some of your “Christmas Book Inspiration” with us. You have a couple that are still on my wish list. Lucky You!

  10. All wonderful recipes thast will be nice to have tear round! Merry Christmas and happy New Year, Kathy!

  11. This is a wonderful post Kathy! We are giving a lot of homemade gift baskets this year with our herb products. We are making them especially for family and friends. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

  12. Kathy another great posts with some great last minute gift ideas. I am finishing up my breads tonight and made some Russian tea.

    Thank you for the party !

    Merry Christmas

  13. I like the first picture with the jar and lace caps, so pretty. Laura

  14. Thank you for sharing these wonderful homemade gift ideas, and pictures! I’m going to try a few of them. Have a Merry Christmas!

  15. You dear are a lovely lady! I want to thank you for your faithfulness each week. It has been a blessing getting to know you this year. You are indeed a treasure. May God richly bless you this Christmas Season. May He grant you the desires of your heart. Hugs, Martha

  16. KATHY MY DEAR FRIEND !!!!!!!!!

  17. A very enjoyable, and informative post. The Twelve Teas of Christmas looks like a great book.
    I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

  18. Hi Kathy,
    Thank you for sharing those great ideas for gifts and also for hosting.
    Wishing you all the joys of the Christmas season.


  19. Merry Christmas, Kathy! Delightsome visit here, today! I do love the home made holidays. I’m baking bread this week – my special communion bread – wonderful with honey! Also got some soup jars for family from the Amish Market. Just wish I had more time to really enjoy the home made part but that season is past and I work far too much out of the house. Hope I can get back to basics in 2012!

  20. Je viens de parcourir avec délice votre blog… Je m’octroierai une prochaine visite.
    Je vous souhaite de joyeuses fêtes avec de gros bisous.

  21. Dearest Kathy,

    Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging comment on my blog; It always uplifts me when you visit Kathy..,

    Merry, Merry Christmas dear lady.., and a happy New Year to you as well!

    I love your post about homemade gifts; so lovely! How heart warmingly charming!

    How creative and delightful; thanks so much for going to all of the work of creating and sharing this with us. Amazing!

    Thanks ever so much for also inspiring us richly and sharing with us all of your marvelous tea posts for our Tuesday tea parties, especially your Victoria party.

    We always so adore having you join us in the fun also!..,

    Thanks for so faithfully brightening our corner of blogland, as you have joined us for, ‘T and TTT’, and also for, ‘Tuesday Tea For Two’, on many a lovely occasion.

    May God richly bless you and yours during this coming Christmas and also in the New Year in 2012 dear lady.

    Hugs from Wanda Lee, (and Pam)

  22. Wonderful homemade gifts! I am sure the receivers are going to be delighted!
    That is a sweet tea mug there too, with it’s festive pattern.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Merry Christmas!

  23. I love making and receiving homemade gifts. You have some great ideas I would love to try.
    I so appreciate your presence at our tea, especially during this busy season.
    Wishing you a blessed Christmas!