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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook and food truck plans as seen on New Day Northwest. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

A Christmas Tea Tree

2009

It all began in 1993. We had just had our first baby and I was a stay at home mom looking for ways to express my creativity now that I was no longer living in Cubicleland. I found a contest that I decided to enter, the Puyallup Fair trim-a-tree contest. I entered the first year they had it and I was hooked.

The contest gained popularity quickly so the fair staff decided to draw names from those who wanted to enter. With the exception of one year that my name was not drawn randomly from a hat and two years that dotter entered instead, I have entered. We are given a tree like this little number to pretty up in our chosen theme.

In 2009, the theme I entered was “A Christmas Tea”. I was seeping with ideas!

I adorned the branches with everything sweet and cozy…

I honestly cannot remember ever using silver – real or plated – for any party, ever. I have, however, decorated with it more times than I can count.

I went to my favorite scrapbook store, Hip 2b Square, for embellishments to recreate my tea bags, giving them new tags that were worthy of display.

Special treats at the bottom of the tree included homemade sugar cookies and mini gingies. Old books are always uplifting.

What is a tree without a tea-topper?

I wish you could scratch-and-sniff through the computer screen. This tree smelled as wonderful as it looked! As we allow ourselves to accept Christmas now that Halloween is coming to a close, I hope this gives you some inspiration for a cozy holiday season! xo!

More Christmas trees

          

Vineyard Tree                 French Country Tree         Gingerbread Tree

     

A Christmas Tea           Americana Christmas


 

How to Make Wool Pumpkins

A few years ago I learned a craft project that quickly became one of my favorites. There are a few things I am clever at but sewing and working with wool are not some of them. I think that is why this project made me so happy. It made me feel like I was more talented than I really am in both of these areas. Since the price of wool has gone down considerably since I first made these, this equals being able to go crazy making masses of them. Make a whole patch even.

 

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First, you will need a bag of rusty colored orange wool. Check with local alpaca owners, fairs and craft or sewing stores. No measurements needed. See? It’s easy already.

Next you’ll just want to use up that pair of nylons with the run in them.

Cut the nylons into about 6 inch strips. They need to be long enough to tie a tight knot in each end  and fit a ball of wool in the middle.

Grab a large handful of wool and push it into the stocking. Various sizes is a good thing. Have fun with it. I shall call him Carrot Top and he will grow muscles and scare innocent people in Vegas.

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Push the wool inside and shape into a ball that is a little larger than a tennis ball. Tie the top of the stocking tight around the ball of wool so that they look like this.

Repeat until you use up all of your wool or all of your nylons with runs in them – whichever comes first. I believe I calculated about one pumpkin per ounce of wool.

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Toss all of your pumpkin wannabes into the washing machine. Just turn washer onto the hottest water temp and allow to go through an average wash cycle.

After the orange balls are finished being washed, place them into the dryer until dry. After they are dry, remove them from the nylons. The wool balls should hold together well and be mostly firm.

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Pick up a very large, heavy duty needle from the craft supply store. With a massive amount of dark brown thread, thread needle and add a knot in the end to help it stay at the bottom of the ball when you pull it through. It won’t stay perfectly, so I use my finger to help hold it as I make the curves of the pumpkin, pulling the needle through the middle, around the pumpkin and back through the middle until each curve looks the way you want it too . I make 7 thread marks on large ones and 5 on the small ones.

Here’s what the orange balls will look like with their pumpkin curves. Luscious, no? I then asked my dad to cut a branch I happened to find in the PCC parking lot (any branch will do) into 24 1 inch pieces. After I got back home, I realized that I was incorrect and had to go back to dad and ask him to cut each 1 inch piece in half. Poor dad. I also bought a branch of wired pip berries that looked like they would compliment my pumpkins as vines. I cut the pip berries into about 3 inch strips and bent them into spirally vines, two per pumpkin. I hot glued them on, arranging them to my pleasing and then hot glued the “stem” on top of their starting point (see finished picture for the look I was going for).

These sweetie sugar pumpkins are the perfect combination of classy, country and cute! Your girlfriends will love them and men will never understand them.

 

Country Caramel Pears

Looking for a beautiful and unique fall treat to make on a rainy day? Why not try caramel pears! They are super yummy and very pretty. Just follow the recipe for caramel apples on the package of Kraft Caramel Bits only use pears that are perfectly ripe. (I found these caramel bits at Safeway. The little dots melt easier than the cubes. Yay for Kraft!)

After the pears are caramel topped, dip the bottoms into chopped pecans. Be sure to place the caramel pears into the refrigerator as soon as they are made so that the caramel stays put. They can be removed from the refrigerator up to 15 minutes before serving.

For an extra special touch, find some sticks in your back yard, widdle them to a point and use them instead of popsicle sticks. Tie a sweet bow from country-style ribbon around each stick and enjoy!

 

Paper

Making handmade gift certificate envelopes for the B&B today! I go nutty over pretty paper… shiiiiiiney.

 

Dotter’s Corny Slippers

Dotter loves corny, seasonal slippers.

 

Strawberries

I bought strawberries on the side of the road. They were shineeeeey. It’s October. I shouldn’t have.

 

Renamed

The great thing about having a difficult name is that you get a new name every single day.

 

Balloons

This might make me a little bit giddier than a ten key. Balloons in my car.

 

Good Things Come in Threes

Triple threat.

 

First!

I know it’s going to be a good day when…

I’m the first one to dig into the brand new peanut butter.

 
© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016