Monday, December 19, 2011

Painted Pine Cones, Orange Sugar, and a Cranberry Cocktail

Hi!  I intended to have this post ready last week, but there was a long stretch of dreary, no-sun days and I was unable to get any photography done...but Caighton and I busied ourselves doing various Christmas crafts!

I love to use these mini pine cones for decorating, as well as, table settings.  I have used them before in product shots for the shop.  I think they look so cute in tea cups and make for a unique place card setting that way...

So, for a variation on that, I thought it would be nice to paint some of the pine cones white and place them in my little vintage clay pots for a more Christmas inspired place setting.  Tucking a stamped paper doily below them, keeps the plate clean and allows you a spot to stamp your guest's name.

Caighton and I had a lot of fun painting the pine cones {you can add a dusting of glitter while the paint is still wet for a very pretty effect}...

Next up I made some Orange Sugar...

A perfect gift for someone who loves tea or iced tea, and it is super easy to make.

All you need is the zest of one orange for every cup of sugar you want to the zest and sugar in a food processor and pulse for a minute or two to evenly distribute the zest among the sugar...Easy!  And the smell is heavenly!!

I transferred mine into these adorable canning jars I brought back from one of the kitchen gadget stores I came across on our trip to Paris...I also added one of my dried orange slices to decorate the jar...

Shake the jar once a day for the first week to keep the sugar from clumping.

I used the orange sugar over the weekend to make my Christmas Cranberry Cocktail...

All you do, is thaw some frozen cranberries and then combine them in a bowl with some of the orange sugar. 

Macerate for at least a couple of hours, gently mashing the berries every so often {depending on how many drinks you plan to serve, use about 2 tablespoons of sugar for every 1/2 cup of berries}

Place a scoop of the cranberry/sugar mixture in a champagne glass and fill with sparkling wine...

The bubbles from the wine will make the cranberries float and distribute the sugar.  It's a fun, festive, and not-too-sweet Christmas drink!  Enjoy!

I hope to be back soon with more Christmas projects.  My kids are officially home for Christmas break now :)


p.s.  I wanted to let you know about the amazing Annie Sloan chalk paint giveaway going on over at Christie's blog, Carter's's what you could win ~

2 Fabulous pots of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

1 tin of Soft Clear Wax

1 tin of Soft Dark Wax

1 Ultimate Wax Brush

1 Glazing Brush

2 Chalk Paint Brushes

1 sheet of Ripple Cloth (for buffing)

1 Color Chart of all 28 Annie Sloan Chalk Paints

The Painted Kitchen Book

Creating the French Look Book

& Quick & Easy Paint Transformations Book

Prize value over $250!!

***Head on over to Carter's Cottage to enter!


sissie said...

Oh how lovely. The idea of the sugar is wonderful and it is so pretty to look at.


Teacup-In-The-Garden said...

I love it!

NikAntik said...

Thank you very much, Tracey for these absolutely pretty photos! Very well done! Nik

Coastal Cottage Dreams said...

Your photos are beautiful! The cocktail sounds wonderful! The orange sugar is definitely a wonderful gift!

Happy Holidays!

Susan said...

Love the little pine one in the teacup as a place name!

ChiPPy!-SHaBBy! said...

LoVe ALL those precious little D*E*T*A*I*L*S...
Jeanine Burkhardt

Rebecca said...

Good Morning
Your photo's are beautiful as always and such a pretty drink.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas week
Many Blessings

Sea Angels said...

Such sparkley lovely ideas, and the pictures are pure loveliness
Lynn xxxx

Sandi said...

What a breath of fresh air everytime I visit your blog!! Beautiful photos Tracey!!

Ironstone and Pine said...

Beautiful..........what a sweet(!) idea! I've got to know, did those jars already have those adorable lids too? What a perfect gift!!

Leah C said...

Oh so pretty! And that orange sugar sounds heavenly:) Merry Christmas to you & yours, dear Tracey!

Fresh Vanilla For C said...

This is all so heavenly!! I LOVE the little jars you brougt back from Paris. They are so darling. Thanks for always being so inspiring.

TheCrankyCrow said...

Wonderful holiday cocktail idea Tracey - going to have to make some of that sugar just to make some of the drinks! Fun, festive, and fast ideas - just in the "Nick" of time! ;o) Smiles & Holiday Hugs ~ Robin

Lorrie said...

The cranberry cocktail idea sounds delicious! I think making some of that sugar is on my list for today.

A Cozy Cottage in the City said...

Oooh, I love the idea of the cranberry sugar as gifts - I will definitely have to try that sometime! Loved those jars too - so cute! :)

Love those painted pine cones too, I'm sure your little one enjoyed crafting with you. :) Cheers and Happy Holidays to you & yours!


Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

I love the mini pinecones! A always your pictures are just gorgeous!
Merry Christmas!

Sheila R - Blessed and Distressed said...

Love the beautiful simplicity of the dried orange on your jar. I'll definitely have to try to make some orange sugar for myself as a treat. Sounds wonderful.

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

Lili said...

This post puts me in such a festive mood Tracey! Your photography is exquisite, I just adore how you captured the reflections and that delicate fizz in the champagne glass with the cranberries! Oh it's so much fun over here at your place. xoxo ~Lili

Looking Glass said...

You are such a creative cookie!

Thanks again for my beautiful vintage French maps. As soon as they're framed & up on my bedroom wall I shall send some piccies your way!

A very Merry Christmas to you & your family!

~ Clare x

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

I've enjoyed your artful blog so much this year, Tracey. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Gail said...

The orange sugar looks fantastic ! Happy Christmas ! Gail x

Veronica said...

Hi! I 'm a photographer and I love your blog!
Hope to see you in My blog!
Greetings from Italy and Merry Christmas!

The Blue Farmhouse said...

I love your photography and always enjoy viewing your blog!

Jo @ Let's Face the Music said...

Love the sugar gift and that you made the packaging as well as the contents so special. Lovely. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

Donna said...

The teacup with the pine cones as a place setting is adorable. Do you know who the designer of the tea cup is?

otol said...

Waw.. It's cool, here i have some tips for home decorating trends. Home Decor Trends